Since I was 19, I’ve been running. Jogging for exercise. I’m not an elite runner by any stretch of the imagination. But I’ve been a consistent runner, until now.
Over the years, I’ve run only 2 half marathons, one flat, one hilly. I have run quite a few 5 and 10 K’s! When I was 27, I came in first for a 3 mile course in my age bracket. Ok, it was not a well attended race, but I won nevertheless with a time of 21 minutes. That was fast for me, a recreational runner.
And then in my 50’s, I came within inches of first place in two 5 K’s, two different times. Also not well attended. Close, but not close enough for bragging rights.
Here is what I’ve noticed. ( Stop reading guys, this gets personal). When I was running, despite good shoes:
- My feet hurt.
- My knees began to feel strained.
- Bladder issues.
- But mostly, I wasn’t enjoying it.
I began to dread it and looked forward to the in between days when I would do yoga or HITT workouts.
So, three months ago, I stopped running and took up walking, walking fast enough to get my heart rate up, but not fast enough to look silly.
The odd thing is, I’ve actually put in more miles since I stopped running, 16 to 20 miles a week on average compared to the 9 to 12 when I was running three times per week.
Walking has been delightful! I look forward to it. I see things in my neighborhood that was never noticed when I ran. Beautiful gardens, interesting sculptures, sidewalk art, other people, dogs, many dogs.
I listen to podcasts with a keener level of interest. I listen to music. I talk with family. And sometimes, I just walk.
Now on the in between days, I have more energy to lift weights, something new to me.
Lifting partner (hubby) pumps right along with me, encouraging me to embrace my muscles, every last aching one of them. Side by side, he and she, back and forth we lift, press, push, and pull our hearts out. It’s fun!
I’m not saying I’ll never run again. Absolutes have never worked for me.
But what I am saying to my fellow women pals:
- Do what will keep you moving.
- Do what energizes you.
- Do what makes you feel strong, flexible, healthy.
- Do what you LOVE!
And guys, if you have denied my request to ignore this, take heed. You may benefit from letting go of what agonizes you too.