May 10, 2010

Getting Back My Mojo

Running-wise, last week was a tough one for me. Although I got out there 5 of the 7 days, each run felt like a struggle and left me pretty frustrated. Two months ago, I ran a half marathon. Last week, 2 miles felt like an eternity. I couldn’t help being upset with myself. How could I work so hard for over a year to get into half-marathon shape, only to slack and lose so much fitness in only 2 months?

The good news is that I know, without a doubt, that I can get my fitness back. When I first started running, a mile seemed like an eternity. But each day & week, I watched my mileage grow. Before long, 3 or 4 miles was a “short” run and I began to look forward to the longer ones. I remember the first time I ran 11 miles. The route was from my apartment to the George Washington Bridge, and back. It took me exactly 2 hours and I remember thinking “that was 2 hours? It felt like nothing!” So, yes, I’m positive that with lots of dedication, discipline and hard work, I’ll get there again. But how will I do it?

My plan:
1.Try to start running in the mornings instead of after work so that I have no excuses to skip my workout. I’ve been skipping lots of planned runs to go out with friends lately, and end up drinking wine instead of running. Yes, a social life is important and I don’t plan on giving that up. But I must find a balance because running is extremely important to me as well.

2.Add more strength training back to my schedule. I used to take a total-body training class and a kickboxing class in addition to running each week. Once my favorite fitness instructor stopped teaching those classes, they dropped off my schedule and I’ve definitely noticed a change in my body. I’ve gained 5% body fat since then! A friend has agreed to lend me his Shred videos so I can try them at home to see how I like them. And once summer Fridays begin, I can begin taking kickboxing with my favorite instructor again – I can’t wait!

3.Return to my steady yoga practice. I began my study of yoga more than ten years ago to reduce stress, to achieve balance, and to learn more about myself (more about that in a future post). When I started running, I found yoga to be an important part of my training. It keeps my hips open, my plantars stretched and corrects my posture for stronger running and deeper breathing. In addition to my home practice, I used to take 2 yoga classes each week: hot yoga and anusara yoga. But due to my crazy schedule, I haven’t been to classes as often as I’d like and my body is definitely not happy. My muscles are shorter and tighter, and my breath is more shallow. Not to mention the fact that my mind is foggier and I just plain miss it. So, back to my steady yoga practice I go!

4.My foam roller will be my new best friend. Yes, I stretch before and after each run. But basic stretching just doesn’t seem to get deep enough these days and I’ve heard that foam rollers can work miracles on angry muscles. So I’m going to give them a try. I’ll keep you posted on how they work for me.

So, that’s my plan for now. What do you think? Any other ideas that you’ve tried and have worked for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts or tips so please leave a comment and let me know!

4 comments :

  1. You sound like you have a great plan to get back into running shape. I know it's easy to get discouraged, but so often life gets in the way of plans we make. Good for you for making a plan!

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  2. Awesome that you're getting back to it ... have you ever tried Yamuna body rolling for the angry muscles? (http://www.yamunabodyrolling.com/)

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  3. Morning running is my favorite. I have to do my long runs in the mornings otherwise they are just blah. Legs are fresh and it prepares my mind for the day. You'll love it :)
    YAYY You got a foamie! It's great, I would be lost without it!
    I'm excited for the post about Yoga! I really want to start going to a class.
    Your running mojo will return in no time :)

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