March 26, 2011

back to it

Somewhere in the last few years, I've let running slide. To say I gave it up entirely wouldn't be quite accurate. But, I've gone from pounding out around 25-30 miles a week to my current state -- which is not exactly something to write home about.

Running is something that has been a part of my life since my teens, and, while it lacks the status of a daily (or, in some periods, even weekly) routine, there is only one time in my life that I recall its absence. Sure, there have been lulls and, in the playbill of my life it would be considered more of an supporting role than the star. I don't mean to imply that I'm the best runner, but it's important to me and I've accomplished some pretty great milestones doing so -- including recently completing my first half-marathon.

So, if this thing is such a substantial part of who I am, how is it I can just let it fall by the wayside? How can I nix the waxing and waning pattern I've allowed to take place?

Nearly four years ago, I moved to Denver and brought along a lot of extra weight. In fact, the summer of 2007 marked my highest weight ever. After settling in for a few months and getting a job, I decided it was time to shed the extra pounds I had gained during a serious bout of depression in 2005. To accomplish my goal, I joined Weight Watchers and eventually, started running again. Although I did work out pretty consistently during the year I lived in Delaware (pre-Denver), it mostly involved the elliptical machine and walks around Newark. Needless to say, it took some time to work back up to a place where I could run for an extended period of time. 

But, by the winter of 2009, I was a running machine. In fact, I was logging more miles at faster speeds than any other time in my life. And, while I had lost a lot of weight the fact that I still hadn't hit my "goal weight," didn't seem to bother me when I was marking down my running stats for the week. I was in great shape and I felt really, really good. Then, something happened -- I began running less -- and less. And then one day, I wasn't really running anymore. Sure, I would fit in an occasional run, here and there, but the glory days of 45 minutes at 6.0 mph were gone. To say I was/am discouraged would be an understatement. 

So, here I am -- trying to get back to it. This morning I logged 3.3 miles and it felt great. I took it slow and although I pined for the days when I could have done nearly twice that amount in the time it took, it still felt pretty damn great when I was through. The most encouraging aspect is that I know I can get back to where I was because I've been there before. I just have to be patient, cut myself some slack once in awhile and take it one mile at a time.