I don’t do anything every day.
Well, I feed the dogs and chickens and give them fresh water and let them out. I brush my teeth and wash my face….
But I do not run every day. I do not do yoga every day. I do not meditate every day.
Seems like during the past year my inbox is flooded with headlines from blogs that say “I did such-and-such every day…and here is what happened.” Friends would show up on facebook announcing their 87th consecutive day of running, or their 6th marathon in 6 months. I longed to be that person who does something life-altering every day.
It didn’t seem like a crazy idea. 1.25 miles round trip from the house to the end of road. Each morning and evening Surry gets a post-meal walk anyway, so why not turn one – or both – of them into a 1.25-mile run.
Life-altering is what I wanted and that is just what I got, only not in a positive way.
We would take walk/obedience-work breaks two, three, even four times on the way out. I would make a vow that we would only stop for cars on the way back and if no one passed us we would run straight through…but I could never make it. It didn’t feel good. It wasn’t fun. I was more tired when we got back to the house instead of refreshed, and often I didn’t have the energy to do even a restorative yoga session before work.
We tried it for a couple weeks as I proceeded to break down and get weaker instead of stronger. I took time off, did yoga, or nothing at all, then after a few months, tried again with similar results. Frustrated I stopped bothering to put on a jog bra or proper running shoes and our 1.25-mile run had been reduced to a quarter or half mile walk.
I used to run 5 to 6 days per week. I was used to building each day around a training session. I had become accustomed to just diving right in and picking up right where I left off, even though that course of action hadn’t worked in years.
It wasn’t until a client came to me needing significant schedule adjustments due to some upcoming work and family obligations. Without hesitation I dialed some things back, assured him this was no big deal, life happens and his training would not suffer. The lightbulb went off as I looked at his new running plan – four days per week…why did I do that for him with such confidence and yet for myself I tried to beat my limitations into the pavement with more running, when the reality is I cannot keep them at bay with more, I must do so with LESS!
I know most of you are saying Duh! right about now. But keep in mind, despite everything my body had been telling me over the past few years, I was still trying to wrap my brain around being a different athlete than I was. In my head I felt like I was doing the right thing with the walk breaks and short distance. If I kept it easy and short then I could do it every day, right?
On Labor Day weekend my running buddy and I struck out on new journey. No Garmin for at least a month. Frequent and consistent walk breaks. Four days per week of running and that is it.
Running for two straight minutes was a challenge on that first weekend. I allowed myself to cut it 90 seconds and even one minute as needed, walking for 30 seconds and trying to keep the run itself relaxed…but if any of you out there have tried to come back from a lengthy layoff, you know at first, none of it feels easy…but two months later we are still at it….I’m starting to feel like a runner again.