Monday, November 19, 2012

My running days are over

The old me wanted to be a part of this scene.

A few years ago, I got really into running. I ran 20 miles per week. I joined a running group. I cared about speed. 5Ks and 10ks were fun for me, and I saw half marathons in my future. Pregnancy didn't even stop me from running ... at first. I quit right around week 18 because it just didn't feel right anymore, but I vowed to pick it back up again when the baby arrived. I had a jogging stroller and I didn't mind running in the rain -- what could possibly get in my way?

Turns out, lots of things. My baby is now 13 months old, and I think I can count on two hands the number of times I've laced by my sneakers. And you know what? I don't care, because I don't miss it.

In the beginning, my reasons for not running were logistical. Even though I had a jogging stroller, my baby was too small to ride in it without the car seat attachment (and running with the car seat attachment is not safe). The weather was dark, gray and wet. I didn't have running gear that fit. I was tired. My time was limited. I wanted to get out there and run, but I really truly could not do it. I went to the gym a few days a week, and that was all the physical activity I could squeeze in.

Later on, it was about my physical recovery from pregnancy and childbirth. I realized in January (when my baby was three months old) that I needed physical therapy to rebuild my pelvic floor, and my PT wanted me to take it really easy for a while. No running.

A few months later, the pelvic floor thing became a non-issue. I started working out more. I was strong(er) again, summer arrived and the baby and I had a semi-decent schedule in place -- one that would allow for a run now and then.

The thing is, I did not want to run. I don't want to run. I'm so over it.

It is all about priorities, and my priorities have changed. Sleep, preparing healthy meals for our family, working out at the gym and trying to keep our home relatively organized are very important to me, and that is how I choose to spend my time (when I'm not playing with, reading to, changing or cuddling my little girl). Running does not make the cut.

The best part about all of this? I don't need to run! I used to think I had to run to maintain/build endurance, and I thought it was a necessary component in making sure I didn't "outgrow" my skinny jeans. Not true. While I don't think I have the endurance I had when I was running 20 miles a week, I'm building it back up again. And as for the skinny jeans thing ... my smallest pair of pre-pregnancy jeans fit perfectly (not that it didn't take a while to get back into them). At age 40, I feel stronger than ever, and I am far more confident about my body (both in its abilities and appearance) than I have ever been. No running required. Maybe someday I'll get the bug again? Who knows! But for now, it isn't for me.


3 comments:

  1. I love this!! I can relate because as soon as I feel like I have to do something, I hate it. It stresses me out. I love how you've embraced that running isn't working for you right now and that that is a-ok! Good for you, momma!

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  2. I haven't ran in about a month because my stress fracture got aggravated after a race and I've been sorta panicking about it. Probably because I've lost all this weight, I'm terrified I'll go back up again!

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  3. Good for you! Running isn't natural. Animals only run to escape predators. I completed a couple half marathons a few years back and i kept trying to convince myself I liked running and that it was good for me. Once I read The Primal Blueprint, I felt a whole lot better about not running. Plus, I'm thinner now than i was during those couple of running years, due in large part to primal/paleo eating. My husband and I have tried to convince his parents to stop all their running. They just tear their bodies up (knees, feet, etc.) for really no good reason. :(

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