What I’ve Learned by Not Running!

I’ve been a runner for a long time and it is a huge part of my identity. I think if you asked my friends and family to describe me in 5 words that “runner” would easily break the top 3. I think that as runners many of us (if you choose to stereotype) are pretty type-A, driven, motivated and scheduled folks. As I previously mentioned, I haven’t taken more than 36 hours off from running in probably 8 or 9 months and I rarely even do that. After last week’s painful 5k, plantar fascitis flare-up and general malaise regarding running, I decided it was time to take a week-long break. I was nervous (and still am) that I’d lose fitness, quit altogether or gain 20 pounds in a week! But, here’s what I’ve learned.

1. My friends and family do not care if I run or not. I’m still Amy and even if I quit tomorrow, they’d still be my friends and family and totally love me. Honestly, they don’t care.

2. Switching it up is good. This week I’ve ridden my bike almost every day, gotten back in the pool (I swam all the time in college and loved it) and even done the 30-day shred on demand a bunch of times! My body is sore in new places (yay new muscles!) but most importantly, I’ve had a ton of fun doing them and my mind feels fresher. Hilariously, my form in the pool is ATROCIOUS and I’m sloooooow. It was embarrassing.

3. Running makes a sister hungry. My appetite has probably been about half of what it normally is. Runners really do need to eat more. Even though I’m still doing a ton of cardio, it’s just straight up not the same.

4. I miss running! I feel jealous of the runners I see which is good. I think running and I were in the place of, “how can I miss you if oyu never leave?” but like any relationship, I’m going to be ready to be reunited. I miss seeing my peeps in the morning, I miss the endorphins, I miss the feeling of productivity… the whole 9 yards.

5. Listening to your body is really important. I think I would have ended up with a serious injury if I hadn’t taken this time. Normally I dismiss people who say that as being “weak” or “not true runners” or “you just need to run through it” but sometimes a break is truly necessary.

6. Other forms of working out are more difficult to execute than running. Biking requires gear, swimming requires a pool… I’ve had to put a lot more effort and planning into this week. It’s been good, but oh man it’s so easy to just throw on some shoes and shorts and run out the door. Literally.

On that note, I’m going to dig out the stretched out speedo and head to the pool. We’ll see if my sore little arms can pull me along a few thousand yards.

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