While my first day-ish after arriving back home was incredibly relaxing, I have to say – the rest of my break has been anything but! It’s been pretty freaking jam-packed, but I am 100% okay with that. I do NOT do well with being bored, so it is probably for the best. But I do miss blogging regularly! So I suppose this is my “How I’m Getting Back into Running” while also getting back into blogging post. 🙂 🙂
Right around the middle of October, immediately following the UBC Great Trek 10K, something just snapped inside of me, and the idea of running even a few steps filled me with dread. It was getting dark outside, I hated running on the commons block treadmill and frankly, I wanted to SLEEP. My body was craving weight lifting with minimal cardio and I let it happen.
Then I ran the UBC Fall Classic 10K faster than the Great Trek and couldn’t walk for 3 days. Annnnd promptly stopped running. Which was fine by me – getting up for work at 8am was early enough for me, and a weight lifting session after my computer science lecture was always appreciated.
Once I got home, though, I really started to crave running again.
a) My dear mother bought a treadmill meaning I could just wake up and go, without having to make myself semi-presentable and/or trudge through the freezing cold, pitch black rain. (Notice the and/or? Yeah.)
b) Emma + commutes = nope. It was one thing for me to carry my sneakers in my backpack so that I could walk 5 minutes to the gym from class. It is another situation entirely to have to wait at the bus stop for an unknown amount of time (our bus drivers don’t seem to value their schedules very much) and THEN take a 20 minute bus ride just to get in a half-hour lifting session. SO the idea of a kick-ass workout with zero transport time became very appealing.
Plus I just started to miss running.
If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year, the most important thing is to listen to your gut. Do that, and everything will work out. Maybe not in the exact way or time frame that you might wish for, but it will. I’m not the type of person that can be hardcore about running for 6+ months at a time. I need focused training cycles followed by months where I don’t feel obligated to run. Right now, I’m excited to get my base training back (I’m hoping for 10 miles!) before I start training for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon in August! OMG I’m getting so excited again.
I have injured myself one too many times coming back to running too fast, so this time around will actually be different. I do not intend to run 7 miles at a fast pace and then have my legs literally buckle under me for a week (yes, that did actually happen), nor will I be busting out a set of Yasso 800s anytime soon. I may not be an expert, but this is my plan to become Emma the Runner (again).
- NO. GARMIN!!! Seriously – not allowed. When I run outside I’m running by songs – if I just want a quick run, I will go for 6 songs, or adjust accordingly. My treadmill doesn’t display pace automatically (I’m sure it’s easy to adjust), so I am leaving it that way and running by ambiguous mph.
- Work hard – but keep it short. I know a ton of advice out there says to start with suuuuper easy ~20 minute runs. Valid as that may be, that type of running would probably make me start to dread it again. So I’m allowing myself to work hard via tempo, intervals and hills, but am capping it at 5 miles right now. I will sloooowly increase that cap as I regain my fitness.
- Prioritize nutrition. You guys, I have been sucking at this. Breakfast at noon? Sure, why not? Gingerbread oreos at midnight because I’m starving (thanks to the above)? DUH. Food is fuel. It’s not about calories, it’s about nutrients. Running is incredibly taxing on our bodies, and it needs those nutrients to recover for the next run! Sorry seasonal oreos, you just aren’t cutting it anymore.
^ But I already finished the pack so it’s okay. 🙂
#1 tip for coming off a running break?