I quit running. Or did I?

A few months ago I finally gave myself permission to quit running. Not just quit for a while, but to quit permanently if I didn’t feel I ever wanted to do it again. I thought I’d be writing here about quitting and moving on. I knew that post would be coming after I made that decision.

Then the strangest thing happened. Or maybe it’s not so strange…

I’ve struggled the past few years to run and enjoy it. I have been slow, overweight, and dealing with quite a weird mix of health issues/allergies and what not. Stress had mounted in my life because I never knew how I was going to feel. My health issues were making for quite the daily rollercoaster. I finally gave myself permission to say no more to running. Gave up. Full stop. I didn’t have the energy for it.

I had tried the run-walk-running thing for the last few years, and while I enjoyed it for long distances, I felt like I’d never run a straight 5k again. I missed the steady state running but couldn’t bring myself mentally to push through at any point in time. I always leaned on walking. Stopping myself before my body was through, because my mind was done.

Cut to this week and after a few weeks of committing to my choice to quit being a runner for good, my intrinsic motivation kicked into high gear.

A few major weights have lifted off my shoulders recently, which all came together at the right time. I feel like a switch finally tripped again for me. I’m ready to take the best care of myself now. To put me back at the top of the list. Not only for my own needs, but for my family, too!

I feel so compelled to be the best example for my children as I take care of my health. They are older now and able to handle themselves for a half hour to an hour while I run on the treadmill. Sure, Crab comes and checks on me periodically, but they can occupy themselves playing for a bit while Mommy gets her run in.

How wonderful that feeling is, to feel like I have time I can give to myself again! And, it’s a great example to show them regularly that I am taking care of my body. Crab even asks if we can walk the dogs after because he wants to get his exercise.

To share how committed I am this go around, I’ve already signed up for three upcoming races this spring of varying distances from 5k to 5 miles. Longer range plans have me committing to more, but I will not sign-up for those races until I am closer to the dates.

One of the races is on Mother’s Day. What a wonderful way for me to celebrate my accomplishments by taking care of my body on that morning. Another one of the races is two days after we return from our cruise, so I plan to bring my workout gear to use the fitness facilities on the boat each day (and it’s a good step down week to do it).

Go me! Running Kate is back baby, sans regrets.

I’ve decided to use my Fitness22 0 to 10k app to get started, and then press on using their 21k and 42k apps which I bought years ago with high hopes. I worked out the dates to where the distances fit in and found races to meet those running training plans.

I’m not trying to do a “hybrid” of the run-walk-run plans from Galloway (which I love!) and these apps like I’ve done in the past few years. I think that attempt to mix plans kept derailing me along the way as I wasn’t sure which direction to go. Do I run-walk this one or do I follow the apps’ prompts? Nah, I’ll just walk, boo.

I’ve committed to just following these apps and seeing them through. Also, this is the first time I’m running using these apps since getting all my allergies and health issues under control.

I now know what exactly affects me and have received a clear diagnosis for what I need to be aware of going forward. On average, it can take 4-6 years to diagnose what I have been going through. I feel pretty lucky it only took about two years with the help of healthcare professionals once I found the best ones to work with.

The spring ahead looks pretty promising to bringing back my old newer self into the picture. What’s even better is I’ve never felt better than I have in years since eating what I need to eat and staying away from what I need to avoid. I feel like a kid again with energy (albeit, cold winters still make me want to take a nap!) and my joints and everything are firing on all cylinders.

In other areas, I’ve decided to take back a little focus of my time on second jobs to focus back on myself. While working for a friend, I was still picking up shifts at the college. So, I never truly quit that second job, I just somewhat added a third. Now I’m figuring out my fall plans to settle into a better routine to allow myself time to do me again. Write, podcast, run, cook, and all those things I did before children when I was less organized.

Children have done one thing for me really well. Since having children I never knew how many hours I’ve had available in my days to accomplish a lot. I do more now outside of just regular work than I ever did before having children, and with two kiddos on top of it. It has been a lot, but I’ve always been great with accepting failure and moving on or quitting when a new idea isn’t working.

Just this go around, I quit something my heart wasn’t ready to say quits too. My heart pushed running right back up to the top, and it feels just right.

What have you quit and returned to stronger?

4 thoughts on “I quit running. Or did I?

  1. I’ve been running for decades, and I have never enjoyed the act of running. But I do like the fact that I can eat as much as I want and not gain weight and the overall fitness improvement it brings. My wife and I get up before 5am on run days and run outside even if it is only 5deg F and pitch dark and we are both early retired! I used to be faster than most but a blood disorder shut me down and even though I mostly recovered my speed never came back. So now that I’m a slow runner I dislike it even more. But I’m not quitting something that is so good for me. It is who I am. The way you think through problems and issues in your life is inspirational because you are honest and open, Kate. And very strong.

  2. Sounds like, by taking away the rule that you have to run, you allowed yourself to realize that you want to run.

    As a 44 year old guy that just started running several years ago, I’m always in for hearing the experiences of others. I look forward to reading follow-ups as you figure out your new running journey.

  3. Thanks so much for your kinda words! I don’t always enjoy running but it brings such a peace of mind about things and helps me sort through the day. I’m glad you’re still a runner all these years (maybe you secretly enjoy it!).

  4. Thanks for stopping by! Yes I think the pressure of “being a runner” as part of who I was caught up to me and I needed permission to choose another path. With that, I guess it’s just a “part” of who I am. I’ll make sure to share more 🙂

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