Running Backwards — Part II

Welcome back to the world of the running!

I’m determined to stop having to start over every time I lace up my running shoes. So — just as any normal, sane, non-over analytical person would do — I’m looking back on my relationship with running to find out where we (me and running) got off track.

Disclaimer: This series of posts isn’t intended for any purpose other than to keep me from giving up, yet again. Because this serves as proof that through my running ups and downs, I am much less cranky when lace up on a regular basis.

Wondering what you’ve missed so far? Catch up on “Part I”!

I’m not sure what the bigger draw was for me — the actual running, or the fact that I COULD run and I WANTED to run. Almost more than I wanted to surf.

So as soon as I could comfortably knock out 5+ miles on the treadmill, I decided I was going to run outside. In public. On the boardwalk.

Half a mile later, I was toast.

Up until this point, all of my running had been done within the safety of the walls of my gym, on a softly humming contraption of plastic, rubber, and a digital display.

But I thought I was past the hard point. I was comfortably running 18+ miles each week at the gym. How could half a mile outside be so miserable?!

I didn’t get it.

My first summer of surfing

But what I did get was the joy and relief I felt at being in the water. After so many months of working my way back into running shape, I would be damned if I was going to have to start over just to run outside. Forget it. Instead I’d focus on my swimming, minimal surfing ability, heavy drinking talent, and soaking up every second of beach time as I could.

Circa 2007: Looks fun, right?!

Here we go again…

So I stopped running. For the first time.

It would take a few pounds and a fantastic gym buddy to get me to reconsider my abandonment of running.

But I did come around. Eventually.

And I started in a familiar spot. On a lone treadmill before heading into my kickboxing class.

Before long, I remembered how much I loved the soft hum of the treadmill and the rhythmic landing of my feet on the belt. I was coming back to life.

But no matter what my level of success was in the gym, the outdoor run still taunted me. So I avoided it at all costs. I didn’t want to lose my momentum again.

Gradually I completed my move from the city to the beach — with a brief stint in Brooklyn. Once living on the beach full-time, I realized maybe I could have it all. Surf whenever I wanted — or at least whenever I had the inclination to shove myself into a wetsuit. Swim whenever I wanted to get wet when there were no waves, and without having to haul my board down to the beach. Or run — or walk — whenever I wasn’t in the mood for either of the other options. But I had no treadmill to fall back on this time. I was on my own.

My new running path — who wouldn’t love this?!

And as could be expected, I lost my running mojo again. I would dabble in a run here and there. Mostly to beat away some random life annoyance. But it was nothing that would stick.

I’m not going to get my running legs back by sitting on the couch. Want to see where I’m at in my comeback? It’s all there on Dailymile.

Warning: it’s not pretty.

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4 Comments

  1. Nothing wrong AT ALL with taking a running break when your mind and heart are not in it. Sometimes I think we’ve all surrounded ourselves with so many runner crazed friends that we feel guilty when we don’t “Totally love it!!” Believe me, there are days when I HATE running it, lol. Hang in there and good luck with the comeback!

    Reply
    • OK — hearing that from you makes me feel SO much better. It’s just the “two steps back” thing that is on my nerves right now, mostly because it’s my own fault that I have to go back and put all of the work in all over again.

      And you definitely have a point — the number of my runner-crazed friends heavily outweighs my non-runner friends :)

      Reply
  2. I can totally relate as i’m starting couch to 5K again for the hundredth time, ha! And running outside, oh my goodness, so much harder when you’re used to the treadmill, running outside kills me!! Now that the weather is nicer I’m trying to run outside with the dog and I’m so much slower than on the treadmill! It’s gotten a little easier each time but still feels like I’m just slugging along on the pavement instead of breezing along on the treadmill!

    Reply
  3. I have sort of te opposite experience. I stop running every fall because once it’s colder than like 45, I hate running outside. And I absolutely HATE running on a treadmill! I just get SO bored! But running outside makes me happy :)

    Anyways, if you want to do it – you’ll get there. And if you don’t? Don’t worry about it. Whether you work out indoors or outdoors you get bonus points from me ;) and besides – there is always room for “try again!”

    Reply

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