Every week on Friday I enjoy highlighting one of the many fabulous bloggers out there. I truly believe in this community and that in the connection we can do so much together towards our goals. I think you may feel the same way, which is why I bring you “Fit Friends”. Perhaps you can find another fitness pal to connect with or even just another great blog to read.
This week, I have a special guest post from the wonderful Lindsay at Itz Linz. She has a post to share her experience with scaling back running. Perfect timing too, considering my “Own Your Distance” post earlier this week and my personal decisions with running. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
What NOT Running Taught Me
Back in October of 2012, I was in the best running shape of my life. I had begun the Runner’s World run streak on Memorial Day, and while it was supposed to end on Labor Day, I kept mine going until November. One weekend I ran (and PR-ed!) in San Francisco at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. The following weekend I traveled to Pennsylvania for the Runner’s World Half & Festival weekend. I ran a 5K and 10K on Saturday just an hour apart. Then, on Sunday I ran (and PR-ed again!) during the half marathon. It was an amazing weekend and so much more than I could have ever imagined.
However, that month my lady cycle lasted six weeks instead of the regular four. I knew it was my body’s way of telling me I need to take a break. (I was/still am trying to get pregnant, so an irregular cycle was not what I was looking for!) I cut running cold turkey and it was tough. I’d never had the endurance like I had then. I was never as fast as I was then. I never loved running as much as I did then.
As sad as it was, life went on. Imagine that! I found my groove in the fitness world sans running. Here is what NOT running taught me:
Not running taught me to love strength training. I’d always gone through phases with lifting weights, but after I “couldn’t” run anymore, I actually had a lot more time I was able to dedicate to strength training. I love how much stronger I became.
(Ladies, lifting weights will NOT cause you to bulk up!)
Not running taught me I still can follow a fitness plan. I’ve always loved training for races. I like the structure of training plans and knowing exactly what I was supposed to do. Do you know what the perfect solution is? Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp! (editor note: Awwww! Thanks!) Seriously, itz an awesome workout plan that combines weight training with cardio and works on functionality, strength, balance, and total fitness. I was introduced to many new moves and my muscles screamed at me, but thanked Tina.
Not running taught me to be more flexible. Literally, yes thanks to yoga, but I mean with my schedule. When I was training for a race or continuing my run streak, I was very adamant about getting my run in for the day. Now, I’m much more laid back and even take actual rest days. (Gasp!)
Not running taught me that there ARE other forms of cardio. Running is an awesome form of cardio, but there are plenty of other options out there that are equally as challenging. Some of my favorites include the elliptical or the stair beast. An occasional spin class can be fun and swimming always kicks my butt (and tones my muscles).
Not running taught me to make time for yoga. I’ve always been a sporadic yogi, but with running out of the picture I took up practicing yoga a great deal more. After each and every yoga session, whether it was a 90-minute bikram class or just holding a few poses in my home, I felt fabulous. I felt relaxed, I felt flexible, I felt strong.
There ya have it. Life after running does exist. Itz not always easy. I still get pangs of jealousy as I see race photos flood my Instagram feed or excited tweets about setting new PR’s, but you know what? Running is not the most important thing in life; my body is – after all, I only have one! Someday, when the time is right, I WILL get back to running. But for now, I think I’m doin’ alright.
Were you ever forced to stop something you love? How’d you handle it? What’d you learn?