I’ve been hard pressed to get out and do any “decent mileage” runs in quite some time. During winter months, I normally will run 2-3 miles at most because that’s about all I can handle boredom-wise when running on a treadmill.
With the “polar vortex” we’ve been experiencing here in PA, winter just doesn’t seem to be letting up! But with only just over 2 more months until the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run— it’s time to get back in the saddle!
Whether you’re like me and take a hiatus during winter months, or you’re just coming off an injury related break– the first time you lace up those shoes and strap on that Garmin can be quite frustrating with regards to time/pace. But I do try to keep it in perspective. Here are 4 things I’ve done to try and keep myself in check:
1. Keep it in Perspective
There have been so many times that I have been ready to just throw in the towel. It’s not even funny. Throwing hissy fits within myself because I didn’t finish my (for example) 5 miles “fast enough.” How about let’s keep it in perspective—I was ABLE to run 5 miles! Some people aren’t fortunate enough to be able to say that. Some would give anything to be able to run one.
2. Find a Newer Runner to Share in the Experience
I started running in December 2010. I ran my first half marathon in October 2011. I have since run 3 other half marathons, but I’m telling you, I have YET to feel the same runners high as I did when I completed my very FIRST one. It’s still there, but just not as intense. Because of that, I felt like my love affair with running was waning a tad bit.
What renewed my enjoyment in running has been living vicariously through others as they complete their “running firsts” milestones! I have several friends who are planning to run their very first 5k this year, and I plan on being there for each one!
This actually kind of pairs well with number two for me. My daughter Mackenzie (she’s 10)will sometimes join me on my runs. It makes it not so much about the running as it is about picking a healthy activity to be done with your family. We actually practice her spelling words while we run! Plus (and this is how it pairs with #2) – we have the opportunity to hit new milestones together. Slowly I would increase the distance or the time that Kenzer and I spent running. And before I knew it, she had run her very first 5K with me last year! This past Thanksgiving, we ran her second “Turkey Trot 5K”- and she shaved a full 5 MINUTES off her time!
4. If All Else Fails Say “Screw it”
Now not so fast– make sure you read this in it’s entirety—I’m not saying stop running altogether. Or giving up. I’m saying take the pressure off yourself. Leave the Garmin at home. Don’t start the running app on your phone. Just go out and enjoy it. Remember why you started running in the first place, and reflect on how far you’ve come to this point. You’ll slowly get back to where you left up, but enjoy the journey until you get there.
See you out there friends!
Any more words of advice for the good of the cause? Do you run year round, or take time off during winter?
Jenny is a 30-something working mom, wife, avid weight lifter, and four time half-marathoner who blogs at www.thewellnessjourneyblog.com.