Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

Six months ago I was running at least 10 miles every Saturday, rain or shine. I’ve been running for almost 12 years and it’s been my passion and sometimes even my therapy. However, I always ran four or five miles at the most. But as I slowly started ramping up my mileage, I became more interested in pushing myself to run a half marathon.

When I decided to sign up for my first half marathon, I didn’t know if I could physically do it. But I started following a half marathon training plan… and then I started outrunning my training plan. I became so into running that I signed up for another half marathon by myself that was before the one I had originally signed up for. My Friday nights consisted of eating as much as I could to fuel my Saturday morning long runs. I was in full on training mode. I ended up running a half marathon in December (curse you Dallas White Rock Marathon) and one in March. I didn’t stop training at all in between.

But after my second half marathon, I was three months away from my wedding. One thing that’s tough about running 40 miles a week is that you are so hungry…all the time. I was eating snacks in between every meal just to keep myself from starving. (Note: this is not conducive to wearing a wedding dress.) So three months before my wedding I stopped running. I wanted to lose most of the muscle I’d gained in training and slim down for my wedding. So I cut running out of my workout regime completely and stuck to 30 minutes on the spin bike four days a week. When you go from running no less than 40 miles per week to four days of spin, you definitely lose some muscle. I was 100 percent happy with how I looked on my wedding day, but I certainly wasn’t in the shape I had been in three months before.

Since I got back from my honeymoon, I have gotten back into running. However, it’s been a slow process to say the least. I started running about three miles, three or four days a week. But let me tell you, those three miles are neither fun nor easy. I feel so much more out of shape (I’m sure the few extra pounds I’ve put on since I was last training don’t help).

Running had become my identity for so long. I was a runner. In high school, I would meet people in my parents’ neighborhood and they would respond with “oh yeah, you’re that girl that runs around the neighborhood all the time” (true story). So it gets frustrating to feel like I am building back to where I was before. But I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, one mile at a time. I’ve recently ramped up to four miles per run instead of three, so I am slowly getting back to where I was before. I have to keep reminding myself to “just keep swimming” I guess.

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