Back when I was in high school, I was, like most teenage girls, pretty self-conscious about my appearance. I decided I wanted to get in better shape and lose some weight, so I started walking. I would put one of my favorite CDs into my Discman, wear a pair of those non-earbud headphones with the foam covers, and just walk around my neighborhood, thinking about school and church and whatever else was going on in my life at the time. While running has encompassed the bulk of my physical activity over the past seven years, it all started for me more than 15 years ago with the simple act of walking.
In 2010, as I became a runner and started building up my endurance, I admittedly started to look down on the idea of just walking. Because walking isn’t as much of a challenge and walking isn’t as hard. Now, it’s still a blessing to be able to do it and it’s still something I am grateful to do. But it’s really not debatable that walking isn’t as difficult as running. If I had to take a walking break during a run, I felt bad about it. This was a mentality I built up all by myself – walking was “less than,” and I didn’t want to resort to it.
Many times in my running life, going for a run has felt like a chore, something to get through, something I needed to check off my list in a training plan, something I dreaded and made excuses to get out of. For a long time I felt that if I didn’t run at least 3 miles, it was a waste of time to even go out and do anything. So, I got burned out, numerous times, and over the past year and a half, I’ve really struggled to run consistently.
At some point, I found myself falling back on walking. Because in the times I didn’t want to run, I knew I still needed to do SOMETHING. And I’ve rediscovered there is just something so enjoyable to me about simply walking and listening to music or podcasts, and I always end up running some as well. I was wrong to look down on walking over the past several years.
This is not to say I don’t want to get back to running consistently, running with goals, training for long distances, but I also don’t want to get back to the type of mentality that didn’t allow myself a walking break, didn’t allow myself to relax. Because I think that mentality is what contributed to me getting so burned out on running in the first place.
RACES SO FAR
We’ve done a handful of races this first half of the year, all just for fun. Somehow, I’ve gotten faster in each one even as it’s gotten hotter.
January – Run Like an Animal 5K/32:54
March – Pie Run 5K/31:38
May – Mudbug Madness 5K/29:59