I've been running again!
I stopped running after my last marathon. Having developed osteoarthritis after a knee injury (from roller derby, not running), I had trouble running without pain after all that training, due to the weight I gained back after my weekly mileage dramatically decreased (because my body needed a break from that intensity) and the fact that I got more seriously into powerlifting (my knee can handle running OR it can handle squatting extremely heavy weights, but not both). So for a while, I convinced myself that I would never be able to run again.
Last year, while I was pregnant, I suddenly found myself bit by the running bug again, which is funny because when I WAS heavily into running, I needed a constantly full calendar of races to stay motivated, and right now, races are a rare thing because of the, you know, worldwide panna cotta that we've been living in. But all of a sudden, I just really wanted to RUN.
I didn't, because I was heavily pregnant and that's not a great time to START running, but I made plans for myself, and this past winter/early spring, I started setting things into motion: I bought myself new shoes (more on that in a sec), I bought myself a running watch, I mapped out a route around my neighborhood, and I researched training plans. All I needed was to START.
But I was afraid. I did not feel confident in my body (aesthetically, yes, but also in its abilities), and I was afraid that I would try, and then my knee would hurt, and then I would feel like a failure.
One afternoon particularly full of bad feelings, I was sitting around feeling miserable and disappointed in myself. I knew I should go do SOME sort of physical activity, but I just couldn't, and if you've ever experienced this feeling, you'll probably understand how frozen up you feel, and then how guilty you feel for being so frozen up. It's this awful spiral.
Fortuitously, this video came up on my Youtube recommendations. The coach in the video suggested starting with an interval of running 10 seconds and then walking 90 seconds, repeating for a total of ten minutes.
And I don't know why, but it really made me stop and think. (Well, the fact that I could see locations in the video where I have run in my former running life back in California was pinging my sense of nostalgia and longing too, not gonna lie!) There was a time when I would have scoffed and been like, "10 SECONDS? I AM SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT," but I'm older now, and broken, and I am not "so much better than" anything. Instead, I thought to myself, "I think I can do that!" And THAT was the push that got me to move. It was an afternoon after spring break, and the weather was gorgeous, and I had everything I needed to start running. So I just WENT FOR IT.
And it was glorious! It was just enough running for me to feel joyous, and just slightly out of breath, but not so much that I felt defeated and winded. And I wasn't in pain!!
|Facebook post from that day|
That was a month ago, and I have consistently been running 2-3 days a week since then, plus an Orangetheory class once a week. Using that 10-second interval as a starting point, I mapped out a plan to get me from that point to the starter intervals in the Phase 1 Weight Loss program in Running for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. (NOTE: Though the program is titled as such, I am not trying to lose weight. It's basically a plan for beginner runners.) Basically, here's what I did for those "bridging" weeks:
- Week 1- (Run :10/Walk 1:30) x6 on day 1, then (Run :10/Walk 1:30) x12 on day 2 (basically for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes)
- Week 2- (Run :10/Walk 1:30) x18 (the rest of this is meant to be done 3 times per week)
- Week 3- (Run :20/Walk 1:40) x15
- Week 4- (Run :30/Walk 2:00) x12
- Week 5- (Run :40/Walk 2:20) x10 <----This is where I currently am as of this post
- Week 6- (Run :50/Walk 2:40) x10
|"Better late than never" because I didn't set it up until mid-April, haha|