Note the tense.
But even though it’s been years since I’ve had a running routine, I still consider myself a runner.
I’ve run one New York City Marathon, two half-marathons, four Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Runs, and lots of 10, 8, and 5Ks. I love the thrill of a race even if I wake up the morning of with my stomach in my throat and my knees a little shaky.
(I’m not sure why I get so nervous. It’s not like I’m going to win! [Although I did once place third in a 5K, but this was way back in the day when I was young lass.])
But for the day-to-day running routine, that kind of fell apart when I moved to D.C. After running my first half-marathon in late 2005, I gave myself something of a break from the 30+ miles I was doing each week. And then, whoa, came a quick interview, a quick offer, a sudden move, searching for an apartment, diving into a job where I would stay for 5.5 years, and getting to know my then-boyfriend (now husband) all over again after a long-distance romance. Can you say “bad for the exercise routine”?
But I had applied for the NYC Marathon and, to my utter surprise, got in. So I trained for it. Though I was doing long runs, there were few weeks where I went above my typical 30 miles. I was running what I usually run, but I was also enjoying the hell out of my new life in D.C., so I gained 10 pounds. Ruh-roh. (I now have another 10 pounds on top of that that’d I’d like to get rid of one day.)
And you know, going up in weight in a killer for running. You move more slowly. Your times go down. You end up discouraged. Then you figure it’s time to try another workout routine. Then it’s seven years later and you still haven’t figured it out.
I’ve done weight-lifting routines. I’ve met with a trainer at my gym. I thought that biking and running into this current job would leave me svelte by the end of the summer. No such luck! But I realize that’s to do with my motivation in addition to this job’s unpredictability. Frankly, I just need to find my mojo again. The goal isn’t to lose weight. I’m not sure that should even be an aim while TTC. But the goal is to be in a healthy routine so that when I’m knocked up I can continue it if possible.
There are things I love, of course. I just signed up for Jingle All the Way 8K and I’m committed to having fun (I may invest in a Santa hat!). I’m going to throw my name into the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run lottery because I love me that race something fierce. And because I’ve cut down my time by more than 10 minutes in the time I’ve been running it, I’ll probably have some high expectations of myself. (Another full minute off and I safely move into a new corral. For someone who cut 2:02 off 2012’s time, that’s totally doable, people.)
But before I can cut time off of the Cherry Blossom run (assuming I get in), I need to get back into running shape. I mentioned doing the 5K-to-10K routine; I downloaded the app and but haven’t started it yet. I realize I need to be patient with myself—slow and steady wins the race when we’re talking about starting over. I’ve told myself that before, but my problem is sticking to a routine once the race is over.
So my questions for anyone who reads this: have you ever fallen off your exercise wagon and hopped back on? How did you find the patience/wherewith-all to hitch yourself up? What was your approach in stopping the comparison between where you had been and where you were now?
I want to do a nice mix of activities with biking, running and some weight lifting once I’m ready. That seems like a lot, though. How do I not overload myself and end up doing next to nada?