Running Around in Circles

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about my workouts, my eating habits, or where I am in my weight-loss journey here. I plan to share more, as I feel it is a huge part of my lifestyle and affects many other areas in my life from finances to health to life satisfaction.

Mid-August always seems to be the time when the switch flips on for me to make major changes and goals for my healthy and body. Back in August 2002, I discovered how easily I could lose weight from skipping out on soda. Once I crossed that threshold, I lost 10 pounds and began a lifetime of healthier living. I started to run for the first time that fall, and have since considered myself to be a runner.

This past August, again I had finally had enough of my post-pregnancy body and being overweight. I stress ate often this past year, with much difficulty losing the 38lbs I’ve lost postpartum. I decided to try a new running plan that is proving to be the perfect fit for me.

For years, I’ve been running off and on with injuries, through pregnancies, or stopping completely. Running is my sanity. This year, I started back with a 0 to 10k app reaching only about the 5k mark before feeling like it was becoming too difficult for me. I was disappointed by my times, which then led to less running and the spiral back down to zero. I also had hip pain and was trying to figure out how to heal it.

Then I decided to dive in and buy a book by Jeff Galloway. Years ago I used his method for a few weeks after a running lull to get back up to speed. I followed his website plans, but this time felt different. I decided to give myself over to his book and accept his way of training. I went all-in and boy has it made a huge difference.

I’m the type of runner who if I run more than 3 times per week, I end up injured. It’s just how my body feels about these things. I’ve done max 4 runs per week, but above that, it goes downhill fast. I am also the type of runner who loves long monotonous runs, and I’m not that really into going all out for any run, unless it’s a fartlek with my Monkey.

Galloway’s plans made so much sense, and the words in his book spoke to me. It’s okay to run your own pace. It’s okay to run your own race. It’s OK to go slower. Really?! Never before had someone told me it’s okay to go slowER.

I embarked on his training program for beginners, thinking I’ll eventually give this up for something more aggressive. After a month though, I’m already running upwards of 7.5 miles for long runs and still being very active the rest of those days. I haven’t run 6+ miles in over 2 years!?!

I have had pretty bad hip pain and energy problems all summer. After a month of caring for myself, running and walking, as well as eating better and strengthening weak joints, I feel like a completely different person.

I used to lay down after a 5-10 mile long runs for hours watching tv and being totally laid out for the day before kids. With two little ones, that just can’t happen anymore.

For the first run on this plan past the 3 mile mark, I was nervous. How tired would I be? How wiped out? I warned Chris to be on the ready, because I might just need to lay down all day.

What happened instead? I felt great. I ended up walking another 5 miles that day.

During the workweek I’ve been averaging about 4 miles or 7,000 steps on my tracker before my runs even occur. That amazes me, as this level of effort use to wipe me out.

My running paces have increased a bit and here I am taking it easy ending up feeling more refreshed and excited for the next run.

It’s been an entire month following his plan and I don’t have any plans to stop. It’s running 3 days a week for now, and I’ve added some fun speed play to one of the mid-week runs. I’m excited at the prospect of where I’ll be in a few months following his plan, but most of all, he’s given me permission to be myself and listen to my body.

I’m never going to win a race. I just want to explore the world by foot and see how far I can move my body. I’d love to move a little faster, but I know combined with weight-loss and time, I’ll eventually improve my times. Already, I’ve improved on some runs 1-2 minutes faster per mile, and that’s in the summer heat. I’m looking forward to the cooler fall months and seeing what my body can do.

And in the end, Jeff Galloway says in his book, if someone complains tell them, “Galloway made me do it.”

Yep. Galloway, you’re helping me to do it once more.

– Kate