It’s been a while since I raced. Like, over a year. After the Chicago Marathon last year, I had officially burned myself out. I had run 3 full marathons in 18 months, one using the Hanson’s Method which is really intense. In the middle of all of that I was getting my personal trainer certification. My life was fitness and running. Training all the time. I was quite a few pounds lighter and leaner, faster, and in the best shape of my life. Even though a break was in the cards for me both mentally and physically, I’m officially over it. I’m ready to race and get some speed and health back into my life.
It’s easy to let it slide a bit. Everything. Nutrition and exercise. Sometimes, we think we’re pushing ourselves but we’re not. Not really anyway. We’re doing the bare minimum to get by, which is fine for some seasons. But sometimes we really need to push ourselves outside of our comfortable. To set goals that seem impossible and go beyond what we feel we are capable of doing. I’ve had some of those goals and accomplished them, but have avoided goal setting for a long time. I guess I just got tired of HAVING to go run because my schedule said I had to. I wanted to run for the fun of it. I wanted to enjoy my family and the freedom to simply say no to an early morning run if I wanted to. And it was good, for a season.
We moved this past Summer and renovated a house. My husband trained for and completed his first full Ironman. My kids started school and life got busy…..er. I train clients out of my house and until recently was teaching bootcamp. I have worked out at home and had success with that, but have avoided going to the gym for months. I’m still running, but not well. I’ve gotten slower by way of eating crap and have simply taken myself off the hook. But it’s taking a toll. I simply don’t feel good. It’s time to turn some things around. It’s time to push myself again. It’s time for a training schedule and a race on my calendar to get my butt in gear. It’s time to have more discipline and motivation to take my workouts to a different level again. It’s time to eat healthier on a consistent basis(with the occasional burger and chocolate chip cookie of course. Life is short after all) and it’s time to feel like myself again.
I think it’s easy to stop focussing on ourselves. We have so much vying for our attention. We have work and marriages and kids and all that goes with those awesome responsibilities. I’m a personal trainer. And sometimes I think that is seen as someone who never struggles. Someone who LOVES every second of every workout and thrives on veggies and lean proteins. I do love all of those things. I love to run and to push myself in the gym. I do love a good plate of yummy delicious and healthy food, but I also love other things. I enjoy eating out with friends and running a little less has been a nice break for me, but it’s put me into a bit of a rut. And everyone falls into that sometimes, even trainers and runner’s and people who live and breath fitness. But I’m tired of my rut. So, here we go.
For me, having a race on the calendar is a huge part of my motivation. It’s ok to just run for fun, and I’ve been doing that for well over a year. But, it has also translated into a bit of fear and hesitancy to commit to anything because I know how far I am from where I used to be. A sweet friend on Instagram commented on a post of mine recently and said, “don’t train from where you used to be, train where you are now.” Thank you Elizabeth! It stuck with me. I can’t focus, and nor should you, on where I’ve been in the past. I have to focus on now. And now is going to take some work. It’s going to take work in my nutrition and sleep and arranging my schedule to fit with training again. It’s going to take discipline and working my way through the sludge of a runner who is a bit out of practice. Knowing the work ahead has kept me avoiding it all by choosing not to race or train for anything. But that’s not really working because it’s keeping me too comfortable. So Hanson’s half marathon method it is.
I used Hanson’s when training for the Dallas marathon a couple years ago. It was hands down the best shape I have ever been in as a runner. It worked for me and my body responded really well. Granted, it took up a large amount of time, it was an effective system for me. So, I’m jumping back in with the half marathon method. I have a race goal in mind for March and am using this to get myself back into a routine, take a few extra pounds away and get my nutrition back on track. It may not be my fastest half, but I need a goal. Sometimes you need to just tell your body and mind to shut up and JUST DO IT. Thanks for that Nike.
So, maybe you can relate? Maybe not to running or racing but to allowing yourself a little too much slack? I get it. We all struggle with this from time to time, trust me. Sharing it here is hard. I don’t love where I am, but it’s where I am. So, I’m going to embrace the body I have now, the time I have now, the runner I am now and go forward. Focussing on who I used to be as a runner isn’t doing me any good. It’s motivating me a bit but otherwise I need to focus on what my life looks like now and what’s possible for this season. So, I’ll give it my best and take this journey toward another racing goal. Won’t you join me?
What’s a goal you could set to re-set your fitness?
Do you find it hard to stick to good solid nutrition, especially around the holidays?