“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” — Lao Tzu
One of the hardest things when you stop running on a regular basis is what happens when you start running again. It is incredibly amazing how out of shape you feel if you’ve only stopped for a few days or months or years. Starting up again is a challenge and always feels like your legs are going fall off or a lung will pop out of your chest. But somewhere deep your brain you know that with a little work you won’t feel like that all the time.
That’s the physical aspect of it but the emotional aspect can sometimes, I think, be worse.
Trying to find that deep recess in your brain where logic lives can be hard to find and rely on when it is being block by this gigantic blob of emotions.
It is so easy to be hard on yourself and compare the current you to the you of oh so many PRs and amazing accomplishments of yesterday. Believe me it took several months and you can possibly say even a year before I stopped that comparison. It was only then that I was able allow myself to really get started on my journey to be a consistent runner again.
But even letting go of some of that emotional stuff it was still difficult to get out of safety zone and not push or challenge myself to run longer and faster. I would always tel myself, “You’ll start to focus on increasing your pace next week. Let’s just make that you can get through a week doing this and maybe then you will feel stronger.”
I’m not sure what happened, maybe it was the successful weight loss or joining Coach Jenny’s Challenge 2017 that has an incredibly supportive group of members, but it happened.
I was able to run consistently during the week to meet the challenge goals and then started pushing myself. When I did, that magical thing happened — I was ok and felt fine, great even. And with that I got that little boost in confidence that has continued to push me.
Having that confidence enabled me to be able to look back at my past accomplishments in a healthy way. For example, when I was running at my peak I was logging two abbreviated runs a day; one was outdoors and the other on the treadmill. At that time I noticed that I was able to increase my speed and quickly get comfortable at that new speed. This is similar to what is happening now, minus the two-a-days. When I started back up with my running a could barely reach half what that old fast speed was but the past couple of weeks I have been able to increase that speed.
Recognizing that feeling of increasing my speed I referred back to my old log book from that time and realized that while I still have a ways to go to get back to that speed I am getting closer and it doesn’t seem like an insurmountable task. I know that I can accomplish that speed again.
It really is great to feel this way again. So all I can say is if you need that little pick me up or reminder that you can get back it, let this be proof that you can!