It seems my transformation journey is evolving. At the end of June, my blog was about whether I should run a half marathon. At that point, I had completed one week of a 12-week training program and was seriously considering running a 13.1-mile race scheduled for October 2014.
When we tell our friends, (and in my case, the runit community) we are going to strive to reach a certain goal, we become more accountable for working toward that goal. I was feeling hopeful I would be able to get stronger as the training program progressed and would be able to run the 13.1-mile course with ease on race day. After I told my friends and wrote about my consideration to take on this challenge, the moral support I received from everyone was incredible.
About 2 weeks later, after I finished the six-mile run at the end of the 3rd week of training, I was starting to notice ways these long runs were negatively affecting my body. First, I bruised my second toe on my left foot and a blister developed under the nail. For weeks, I thought I was going to lose this nail. I also felt sore in my lower back from running for consecutive days with no rest. Finally, the impact of running 4 days per week increased my appetite to the point where I gained 10 pounds.
I reflected on my journey and realized the path I started to take was not allowing me to make progress toward my goal of reaching my target weight. In discussing these challenges with my family and friends in the fitness world, they advised running (exclusively) is not the best exercise for weight loss because the body’s efficiency to burn fat goes down after the person gets used to that (or any) activity. They advised me to reevaluate my goal to focus on how I felt in clothes as opposed to chasing a number on the scale. Instead of running to meet my desirable results, they advised me to do high intensity interval training. While running has countless benefits, there are also risks to our joints, feet, and muscles. I decided not to train for the half marathon and to change-up my workout routine.
The last time I ran was 6 weeks ago. I am in week # 8 of a high intensity training curriculum. I love how this workout regimen is making me feel, and I plan to write a blog about this program after I finish it. I also continue to walk about 2 to 3 miles during my breaks at work to keep my energy up and my head clear during my workday. At this point, I plan to run outside this weekend with my husband for 3 miles to assess whether I can incorporate some running back into my routine again. After reading Emily’s blog, it sounds like I am not alone in this challenge.
To my sister, Julie, my fellow runit moms, some of my close friends, and anyone who is successful with half-marathon and marathon trainings, I applaud you. The brief journey I had with the Hal Higdon program taught me about how far I can push my body. It also gave me a great appreciation about how difficult and challenging running can be on our bodies and minds. For those who choose to run anyway, regardless of pain, sickness, blisters, or bad weather, I give them a huge high-5 for their amazing dedication.