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Getting back into running

I first took an interest in running about two years ago; both my parents were training for various races at the time and would go out for a run together around 6:30am most days, so when I moved back home I started joining them in their morning runs. Just as I was starting to get excited about it and making some progress, I started a new job with weird hours. I was working 1pm - 11pm and the new hours made it difficult to get up at 6am to go running; I just didn't have it in me to go on a mere 5 hours of sleep to get a run in early in the morning, and I couldn't go out after work because I didn't have the gear to be out running in the dark. Excuses aside, it was easier to fit yoga into my schedule at the time, so I started taking classes nearby and just stopped running all together. For the next two years, yoga was my exercise of choice.

I recently began running again for a number of reasons...
  • I was tired of seeing all of my perfectly good running gear (-a few shirts, shorts, socks, and two pairs of hardly worn down sneakers) sitting around in the closet, unused.
  • The weather has definitely been a little more runner-friendly these past few weeks so the thought of taking to the sidewalks has been running through my mind frequently.
  • The final push though came when the yoga studio I was frequenting once a week shut its' doors at the end of August. Left without a place to practice I finally ventured onto the road for some physical and spiritual guidance.

Now, I work in the food service industry and am by no means sitting on my bum all day at a desk; I usually spend about 8 hours a day on my feet and I make a point to walk to/from work most days too (I only live .3 miles from work) and Shawn and I take walks around the neighborhood on a regular basis; so I am definitely not lacking in exercise. But I wouldn't mind getting a little workout on occasion.

Since the yoga studio closed I've had to adapt to doing my own yoga at home. I'm far too used to going to classes and not having to come up with my own sequences, so this is actually a push I need and am welcoming, but to get outside of our space a bit I've also decided to add a little running back into my weekly routine.

My first time out I set out on a 2-mile course and was able to run 3/4s of a mile before my endurance got the best of me. The past 2+ years of doing yoga must have made me pretty strong, because I never expected my breathing to give out before my muscles. But what my muscles had no trouble with that day, they certainly got the best of me the next. My legs were burning for almost a whole day after that first run!

But I gave it two days rest and then set back out again, this time on 1-mile course, of which I was able to run .8 before having to stop for breath. This time though, my legs felt no excrutiating pain afterwards. Ah, relief.

After chatting with my mother about working on pacing myself to get the most out of my endurance, I decided to take it a little slower. On my third run I set out on the same 1-mile course but I tried to find my stride and stay at a constant speed, and was actually able to run the full mile in just under thirteen minutes. Not a very fast time, but I ran the whole way!

I've run that 1-mile course a few more times now and am still amazed at how strong my muscles are - two years ago they would to be the first thing to flare up in pain when I would run, and now they give me no trouble at all! It just makes me feel even better about all that yoga that has kept me physically strong these past two years. Now I can focus on breathing steady and slowly building up speed.


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