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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Running... and making goals...



If you didn't know me before I had kids--you might not know that I used to run. Kind of a lot. I really loved it. I also loved being a runner. The identity in it. I also loved pushing myself, setting big goals, and achieving them!

So, then I had two kids. Kind of close together. And, we lived for a while in a region where just taking off and running on my own wasn't really a thing I could do. And, kids changed my body (big surprise there!). My hips are wider, my back is weaker.... and I am generally just a lot more tired than "back in the day". Throw in the added fun of things like sickness, plans changing and general life-craziness... and it all added up to me being too frustrated to even get motivated about getting back in shape.

I would half-heartedly do aerobics classes, sighing about how far back I had slidden. I would get it in my head that I needed to start running--and then would nearly kill myself running for 40 minutes... and wouldn't try it again for several more months.

It was so hard to really just face up to this "new normal" (again!)... and be ok with it. I felt frustrated as I would run with legs seemingly made of concrete--when I could remember back to feeling as though I was running with the wind. I hated (mmm... not sure if this one should really be in past tense...) how much my tempo had slowed down. I usually ran around 8 1/2 minute miles... now I am puffing away at 10 minute miles. It makes me feel like a grandma! ;)

But! I heard a snippet a great interview geared towards encouraging people to get back into exercising... and the woman said we can never continue on in our "wellness plan" if we are constantly thinking back to where we were, or ahead to where we wish we were. We just have to take where we are, and make a plan for tomorrow. And tomorrow, we need to make a plan for the next day.

That was SO encouraging to me, because I was beating myself up so much about where I was that I couldn't devise a do-able plan for my "now".

At the beginning of the year... the dreaded "New Year's Resolution" lists began circulating. I tend to shy away from those... but, this year I thought: You know what. I am going to stop trying to make "big" resolutions... And I am going to make resolutions so do-able... That it would be a crime not to stick to them.

So, one of the items on my list did deal with fitness. I knew I would love to do at least one 4 mile race this summer. But, instead of focusing on that, I devised an easy-peasy plan to get there. I decided to start with running 5 minutes. I would not focus on how far or fast I ran. Just that I completed the time running.

Then, every 2 weeks I would add on 3 minutes. That way, I was gradually building up to a greater distance and not hurting my body in the process. It also helped in the beginning, not-very-motivated days to know I didn't have to go far to stick to the plan!

Another great thing with this plan is it has actually WORKED with the craziness of life with little ones, and with starting a new business. It is not so set in stone that if I miss a day (or 5) that it is the end of the world. And, the time increases in such small increments that if I only run one time some weeks, it is still helpful.

All that to say, this momma ran 3.2 miles this morning in 30 minutes! Woohoo! Only a few more weeks to get to my 4 mile mark... and then it will be time to put a race on the calender! :)

I am grateful for this lesson in not getting bogged down in making grandiose plans that really are set up to fail in this season of life I am in. It is helpful to know what the bigger goal is, and then to figure out small, manageable ways to inch my way towards that end!

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