I should have been running a marathon today. This year’s Hall of Fame Marathon was supposed to be my return to 26.2 after 20 years. I was so excited when I signed up. I had run the half the four previous years. I know the back half of the course very well (its in my neighborhood). I was up to a 17 mile long run…then the pandemic hit.
At first I held out hope that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t going to be as bad as all the doomsday minded people who were surrounding me were saying it was going to be. But then schools closed, businesses closed, and stay at home orders were put in place. Then the announcement came. The race was cancelled. Honestly, my training hadn’t been all that great, and I probably would have went into my race a bit unprepared so I was ok with it.
I figured I would keep running at a lower intensity and just keep going. I had been furloughed from work so I had all kinds of time. It would be easy, right?
Well it wasn’t, and I didn’t.
I almost stopped running altogether. I did walk every day so I wasn’t totally inactive, but I know my fitness level has dropped. I let myself enjoy not having the pressure of a training schedule as well as not having to be at work with a general manager who makes me feel like I’m absolutely inadequate. It was what I needed.
But now what I need is to start the path to becoming the runner and athlete I want to be now.
I think my running had gotten stale, my mindset predictable and because of that I had plateaued hard and was just going through the motions. I’ve been inspired to make changes from many places. From a post here about reinventing yourself as a runner, to seeing people in my neighborhood doing their best in their own fitness goals, to a friend I met through Instagram who has shared her weight loss journey and her fitness program with honesty and an enthusiasm that has made me want to do more.
So what’s the plan? I’m getting it all together, but also being flexible so I can make changes if I need to, but so far my goals are this…
1. I’m starting the “ground zero” plan in my marathon training book. I don’t think I’m truly at ground zero, but this will let me ease back in to running and I’ll be able to judge from there my next step.
2. I’ve decided to give functional fitness workouts a try. Maybe not cross fit per se, but something similar. I’ve downloaded a WOD generator on my phone, and have tried a couple workouts. They’ve kicked my butt and left me sore, but I feel so good when I do them. I’m excited to try another, and that is something I haven’t felt about a workout in a while.
3. Speaking of downloading, I re-downloaded the My Fitness Pal app. I’m not necessarily good at logging my food everyday, and I have mixed feelings about the habit of neurotically tracking every single morsel of food that crosses your lips, but I do think having an idea of what you eat every day helps to identify where your diet falls short and why you’re not seeing changes in your body.
4. Finally, and most importantly, I’m going to remind myself every day that, even if I didn’t hit all my goals, even if my day wasn’t perfect, that I did the best I could. That this is a learning experience. That this is an ever changing journey. That I have another chance to change any time I have a new decision to make. If I’ve learned nothing else about myself it’s that if I focus on the negative that that doesn’t motivate me. That all or nothing doesn’t work. And belittling yourself doesn’t fix any problems.
They say you have to start somewhere, here’s my starting point. Where this path of my journey takes me next, I don’t know for sure. But I’ll be thankful for each step as it helps me to grow and learn more about myself.