“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think, ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.” (Haruki Murakami, What I talk about when I talk about Running)”
I’m trying to get back into running without bringing my all or nothing attitude along for the ride. Maybe, I can run without making plans and spreadsheets for my next long distance race. I used to run a lot, and then I stopped – somewhat because of chronic injuries during long runs, somewhat because I got interested in things that weren’t running. Typically, my hobbies and interests consume me. When I ran, I also read running books, almost exclusively. I made budget plans based on the next time I’d need running shoes. I craved running dates with Alex. I signed up for a lot of races with a variety of expectations about time goals. Post my Tough Mudder 2013 experience, I wanted to take a break from running and make room for other activities in my life. So, I leapt into heavy weight lifting and amped up my yoga routine. Running slipped away and I didn’t stress too much about it. Alex trained for a marathon, and I didn’t even come along during his short training runs. I just made room for other things.
Now, I’m suddenly craving running again. I stepped away from lifting for a variety of reasons, most of them involving yoga. I haven’t lifted weights in several weeks, instead practicing yoga for at least 45 minutes, six days a week. It’s been enough to sustain my strength and maintain my weight. Still, I want more. I miss running the trails. I miss speed workouts. I miss Saturday morning long runs with Alex followed by breakfast. Sometimes, I miss eating tons of calories for the sake of refueling. In general, I miss being a runner. So, I’m re-lacing up my shoes and heading back out onto the road, with the hope of reforming a habit.
Logistically, my goal is to alternate running and walking for thirty minutes at a time, three days a week until I return to feeling comfortable running that whole time. After that, I’ll re-evaluate. Lately, my workout routine is great without a plan. I continue checking in with myself, keep active, and I don’t stress out too much about the future. I aim for six days a week of yoga, and decide what kind of yoga my body needs every day. I plan to try running with the same approach.