This "return to running" thing is hard! And it's not even about the physical. Well, it is. I mean, let's face it: I'm carrying about 20 lbs extra weight, and it's not like I've had anyone's baby, so...yeah. That means it's harder on the joints. Yep, like that knee joint - that pesky joint that has been injured since November and is still being rehabbed...albeit on my own and not at official PT. I had to let them go after they wiped out my FSA, man. :::cries silent tears:::
The physical exertion needed to get back to running is something I've done before. It's a big cardio adjustment, moving from a machine that carries all of your weight (elliptical), to running where you've got to support all your own weight. However, it used to be much easier than this. I am currently using Couch to 5K as a guide, and today was Week 3, Day 1.
That being said, my struggle appears to be way more mental this time. Here are some of the random things I struggle with:
1. When I finished my half marathon in December 2009, I was a size 6. Now, I haven't been that small since high school/college, and I had no pipe dreams of maintaining that size once training ended. But I figured, it can't be too hard to stay at an 8 or even a 10, right? WRONG! Well, partially wrong. I was able to maintain for a while, until the bottom fell out, around September 2010. That's when the plantar fasciitis just made it pretty much impossible for me to continue running. I had to shut it all the way down. Then my grandma and dad died three weeks apart in October and November, and add the stress...I swear I gained about 15 lbs while I was in NY dealing with all of that.
2. It feels like someone flipped this evil switch on my body's metabolism. I probably work out harder now than I ever did, aside from the previous running. I do cardio and weights 3x per week and power yoga 3x per week. I definitely am getting stronger in the upper body, but the pounds are not budging. The inches ain't moving. Matter of fact I feel like in some places my clothing is getting tighter. Is some of it muscle? Probably. But still. Very, very frustrating. It's hard to want to get up every morning at 5:00am when you feel like you're not getting any results.
3. In my head, I remember when I was running 9:45 miles (which for most people is pretty slow, but I was slowly working my way down and feeling good about it). So I want my body to do that. This ain't a 9:45 mile body. It just ain't. LOL! It's more like a 11:30 body on a good day. But my MIND still wants to go 9:45. Very, very frustrating.
I think, if you've never really run and THEN had a huge set back, you can't understand this, or can't understand why I can't get over this (well, I know one person who can - waving at her if she's reading this, and sending a hug). It's a challenge. I'm so glad I've gotten back into my regular yoga practice because I know that will help me "get out of my head."
I hope, when I get to Week 9 of C25K, I can look back at this and wonder what I was so worried about.
If you're working on your own personal fitness challenge, I commend you. This thing is hard work, but we'll get it done.