Thursday, June 16, 2011

What I love about out of shape running

I am really out of shape. That is not some self hating criticism – it’s fact. I took about 2 months off from exercise during the crisis which was graduating from school. I just went for a run and it was rough, but good.

Also note – with out these people I would never exercise.


(source, source, source, source)

The run tonight reminded me why I love out of shape running.

Perspective on mileage

When you are training for a big race, the mileage gets high. I half trained for a full marathon, and completed one half marathon. I was running 20-30 miles a week while training for those races. While training you lose perspective on how much you are really running. I remember feeling complete defeated because I cut an 11 mile run short and only ran 7 miles. I felt bad because I could only run 7 miles? Yeah, that’s messed up. Starting back at square one makes you proud of what you did than, and proud of the little you can do now.

Respect for the fitness I once had

Also while training, or just when in really good shape, I never really understand how fit I am. There was a time in grad school I was teaching abs, Pilates, and yoga, strength training pretty intensely 3-4 times a week and running 15-20 miles a week. Whoa, I was like beast woman, but at the time I didn’t appreciate it. Being out of shape gives me perspective on what it means to be fit, and I take that perspective with me as my body does begin to change.

life isn't over if I lose fitness

When I am really fit I think, oh, I will NEVER be out of shape again. Ha, I laugh at that statement! Life is full of unknown challenges that can make it difficult to stay fit. Yes fit people, there might be a time you are injured, or busy doing other things. Yes, there are other things to life than fitness. The best thing about running is even when I leave it for a while, it is always right there for me to return to. After committing for a few weeks consistently the fitness comes back. Its not like magic, it all makes a lot of sense.

Remembering what is all about

When I am out of shape I don’t map my routes, monitor my pace, or set mileage or time goals – I just run. I focus on moving my legs, and finishing. A lot of this is freeing, knowing that my only goal is to not face plant. It reminds me why I love to run. it makes me happy to just move my body, listen to music and let my mind slip away. This time is just for me, no one else. It is great to feel this reconnection to the sport I love.

All in all today’s run was rough, but it was relaxing and motivating. What more can I ask for right?


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