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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lessons of not running

What I learned about running from NOT running.

You might wonder how I could learn about running while not actually doing any running, but I learned more than I could have ever expected.

*I learned I don’t NEED to run to be happy. 
In the past, I have looked at running as my solitude, my only real way to relieve stress and think things through. I still think that running is a wonderful way to do all of these things, but I also realize that I can get stress relief elsewhere. I can go for a bike ride, a walk, I can read a book. All of these things I used to do when I could run, but I don’t think I ever appreciated that I can sub one of these for a run instead and get basically the same calming results.

*I learned I love running. Yes, I thought I loved running before but just go ahead and take 2 full months off of running and see how you feel. At first I honestly was completely fine that I couldn’t run. I knew my body needed the break and running was feeling pretty horrible at the time so I accepted my non running lifestyle and enjoyed walking, biking, strength training all at a lower level than before. I was fine with this for about 3 weeks while my heart rate still felt crummy and my energy levels were less than impressive. Then I really started to miss running. I was feeling better, my energy was returning and all I wanted to do was run.

My first run back was last week. I ran/walked with Stacy 3 miles.  I was so so happy! I’m sure I looked ridiculous with a goofy smile on my face the whole time, but I truly felt light and happy and so grateful to be able to run again. I love that feeling.

*I learned I needed a break. I think I was pushing myself and putting pressure on myself that eventually lead me to dread running a little bit. I’m not sure if it was my attempted marathon training, my lack of iron, or some combination but I was really hitting the wall hard and should have taken some time off much earlier than I did. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

*I learned I don’t need to be obsessive about my time, distance, or pace. I got the OK to run last Wednesday and proceeded to go for my first run that day. I didn’t wear my watch, and didn’t care even the slightest bit! I have since gone on a few more runs, nothing more than a few miles but I didn’t wear my watch so I’ll never know. I will start wearing it again as I get back into training, but my watch used to feel like my lifeline when I went for a run and I can now say with confidence that I don’t think my Garmin will hold that much power in the next few months.

*I learned that I don’t run to stay fit or active, I have plenty of other ways to do that, but I run because of how I feel after. Nothing else I have tried in the last 2 months has given me that feeling. The happy, excited feeling that I get when I run, and even when I am done running. I love that feeling and I didn’t realize I missed it until I felt it again.

There you have it, maybe not ALL of the things I learned while not running but definitely some of the most important in my opinion.

Have a great day everyone! I’m headed out for a run soon!

I'll post about this wonderful weekend we just had tomorrow!

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