I am a goal-oriented person and in Jan 2013 my life goal was:?????run a half marathon??? (yes, I???m that crazy). Sounded really scary and challenging! I registered for my??first half marathon –????no chance to turn back; I had to do it.
It was really hard to go from being a non-runner to half marathoner. It took time and dedication, but once I felt comfortable running ??? when I was able to keep breathing normally throughout the miles ??? then things got better! It was kind of a miracle!
I used to enjoy everything about running, the ???simplicity??? of the sport (just get up and run), the convenience (you can run anywhere), the practicality (you just needed a pair of shoes and comfortable clothing); every run and every new path was an adventure… But my favorite part was that I felt like flying (when probably I was barely moving faster than a slow turtle), but loved the feeling of freedom… ahhhh so nice.
And then after a year of running I got tired. I realized it really is not as simple and pretty as it sounds. The getting up early on the weekends, the fact that your shoes have an ???expiration date??? (change them after 300 miles), the fact that your toe nails become expendable, the amount of gear you need to have a good/enjoyable/successful run, the warm up, the cool down, what to eat before, what to eat during and what to eat after a long run ??? it became a chore and not something that I was doing for fun.
After I completed my first marathon (the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon), I decided I was DONE running ??? no more races, no more training. I longed for spending my weekends sleeping in and doing whatever. I allowed laziness to take over.
Fast forward four months,??and I??found myself missing running, missing meeting the friends I made in the past races. So I decided to go back to running. Well, my mind was ready, but my body was NOT on board at all.
My body not only got uncomfortable, but it became really tight. When I tried to run for the first time after my running break, my hips complained and my lower back was??whining, I could barely run a mile. What happened!?! We were on a break!
I was not happy, I was actually afraid and disappointed. I blamed it on my age. I???m too old for these things. But I wasn???t ready to give up just yet. I tried to shake the laziness by running once a week slowly and short distances, but as soon as I started running my hips and lower back got tight and couldn???t go further, I had to stop and stretch. Even the stretching was painful!
I started reading a lot on lower back pain issues (on the Internet, obviously). Nothing seemed to resonate with my symptoms. That???s when I decided to listen to my body and pay attention. I always described the pain as ???tightness,” so I went with that and scheduled massages once or twice a week.
I trained a little bit on the elliptical and treadmill, just a couple of miles here and there. Foam rolled every day, and started swimming which I found to be one of the most enjoyable things ever.
Long story short, I ran the 5K, the 10K and the Half Marathon and felt great. Over the next several days and weeks, I’m still feeling great!
Lesson: I wasn???t smart by quitting running and exercising all together. I got lazy and payed a toll for it. Now I am incorporating a better-structured running routine. Even if I only do short runs, the idea is to stay active.My next races are the Nike Women’s Half, the Berkeley Half and then the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2016.
Stay tuned because my journey is not nearly over!