It has been 5 years since I started working with a personal trainer who convinced me to change the way I looked at food and then convinced me running would be good for me.Once he convinced me to run a 5k race, I was hooked. 5k became 10K and 10K became 10 miles. Once I could run 8 miles I knew I could run 13.1. It took almost a year before I considered myself a runner, instead of simply, “someone who runs.”
In the last year and a half I have been working with a new coach and trainer with some different philosophies and points of view about running and training in general.I have spent a year and a half learning and getting stronger, but I have also let some of the newness take away from some of the things that worked for me. Last year I felt the need to toss out the old in order to make room for the new. I added training days, but subtracted running days. I added reps but subtracted weight. I did reinvent my running form which makes me feel more efficient, but my race times have not improved.
The list goes on:
I joined a running group at work and paid money for something I used to do for free.
I joined an online running/coaching group but found it was tailored to runners who ran, not runners who worked out at the gym.
I discovered trail running and entered a few races which I discovered were not really my thing; I did discover I loved to run through the woods, however.
I bought racing snowshoes but we had no snow so all the races were cancelled.
I have convinced myself that I feel better and can move better, but when I look back over the last year and a half in spite of my drastically reduced mileage I still experienced some tweaks and pains and movement issues that prevented me from training at 100% throughout the year. I do feel as if I know more and can perform my own maintenance and recover more quickly when I do have issues. All in all I still feel good-but I am missing my running and plan to resume my miles in 2017. I was at my best when I was running 15-20 miles a week.
Lessons from 2016:
- There is no magic bullet or secret ingredient.
- Personalized training is different from personal training
- Runners are passionate about running
- What works well for one person may not work well for another because of physiology
- Running is not bad and it is not the enemy, unless you become obsessed and stop listening to your body
Now that I have essentially stopped running, I need to start over again which is really hard. But I have confidence that I will be back to where I want to be in a relatively short time so that I can start working on improving.
As with anything in life, to get better at something you need to practice. Practice makes progress. I have spent a year practicing lifting things over my head, squatting, and pushing my body off the ground. Now it is time to put it all together and get back to moving my legs and feet again.
I am not trying to transform myself in 2017. I am trying to get back to doing what I love and doing what makes me happy.