It's true. I won't lie. Running takes work. A lot of work. It is hard. Don't let anyone try to tell you running is easy. It isn't. But think about it. The things that are the most worth while and rewarding take the most work. I have managed to LET myself NOT run off and on the past year and a half out of laziness and negative self talk. Despite the fact that I saw awesome results from running, I quit over and over. No more! My husband says he can't figure out why people quit doing what is working, why they give up. It is the metal talk that goes on inside their heads. It is bumps in the road that get us off track and it takes metal strength to get back on track. I feel that I have gained my metal strength back these last few weeks because of my time with the Lord each morning, I have been doing that since October. I am openly seeking HIS strength to do the things in my life that I need to do. It has made such a difference in my days and in my attitude. And my success. The picture isn't very glamorous, but I had just come in from running five miles and the sun went down so the air got colder. I'm OK with not looking glamorous. I am a runner. There are times to be a runner and look like a runner and then there are times to dress up. I am proud to be a runner and look like I just came in from a run in the cold winter air. Becoming a runner was one of the best things I ever did for myself.
I feel like I am back on track because I can actually RUN the majority of my run instead of having to walk to slow my heart rate. When I am not running regularly I can't run the whole way like I can when I run on a regular basis. I build up my heart and my lungs by running more than once a week. This week I ran two 5 mile runs, so far. The first one I had to walk for short periods of time during the first three miles and then ran the last two miles. Today when I ran I didn't have to walk at all. I did walk down a slope each of the five times I went that way, which was only about 6 seconds of my time. I say "so far" because I have a scheduled training run tomorrow for 7.5 miles.
I have mentioned it before, but during my runs I listen to contemporary Christian music and spend the time talking to the Lord or just singing to him in my heart to the music. I also spend the time encouraging myself along the way. I tell myself how great I'm doing, how far I have run, how far I have left, etc. I use the Nike+ app and it tells me how much farther I have to go. Sometimes it is easier to think about how far you have to go as it gets lower than to think of the big number.
For me the mental battle to run and exercise is such a big one. I have fed myself lies since I was a teenager that I could not run. I sure blew that out of the water, didn't I? But each day that I get up I have to have a plan. I have to know ahead of time what type of exercise I am going to do. That sets it in my head and keeps me dedicated and accountable to myself. I have a goal to get healthier. Not just to lose weight, but yes, losing weight is something I really want to do. I know it will make me a better runner and my health will be better when I have less fat on my body.
One thing I need to make sure I am doing is my strength training. I do that at home, on my own. So that takes planning and metal preparation, too. I see many great tips online for workouts. I just have to put them into practice. I do a full body workout two or three times a week. It is easier for me to get in two or three weight training workouts than to try to do two upper body and two lower body weekly. On the weekends I write down what my workouts will be for the week. Doing that has really helped me.
Something new has been bothering me this week, the side of my foot starts hurting after a run. I purchased a hot/cold foot roller the other day and it really helps. I also purchased a foam roller to help roll out the muscles that get tight from my running and other types of exercise. Both good investments for a runner, I believe. My shoes are over a year and a half old so they aren't working like they should. I paid under $50 for them because I wasn't sure at the time just how much of a runner I would be. I know now that I am dedicated to running and can't wait to run more and more the rest of my life. I want to run half marathons and full marathons and who knows what other crazy running adventures I will attempt. But I am looking forward to the challenge of beating my best with each new race. I am looking forward to seeing the changes in my body that will show the strength I am gaining through the training I will be doing on a daily basis. It is my goal to continue to keep my body and mind strong as long as I am alive. My first step in that direction will be tomorrow when I go to the runners store and buy a REAL pair of running shoes that will make my feet feel great when I run. I am super excited.
If you haven't set your fitness goals for the new week, do it now. Make a plan and then stick to it. You will feel so accomplished at the end of the week when you can look in the mirror and tell yourself "You did it. Way to go." You can do it. I believe in you. Take it one day at a time and do something. Get moving. Make a healthy food choice. Just take the steps forward to a healthier you.
Helping transform lives one day at a time.