Since injuring my hamstring in February, running has been put on the back burner. Last night was the first time in a LONG time I enjoyed a run the way I used it. It was 9 p.m., I just put the kids to bed and the weather was ideal — a cool, breezy night.
All I could think about on the run was how much I was loving it and how much I missed *this* feeling.
It’s time to rediscover running by…
10. Treating Myself to a New Pair of Running Shoes.
I have discovered my IDEAL shoe. I’ve had good running shoes before. I loved my Asics and Mizunos but I have finally taken the leap to a minimalist running shoe and I don’t think there’s any going back. My new obsession is the New Balance Women’s WT10 Minimus Trail Shoe. The fact that these things aren’t on my feet right now is a miracle.
I literally wear them EVERYWHERE. Walking, running, hiking, crossfit, playing with the kids, I’ve never had a shoe I like more than these. They are also the same shoes my friend Jimmy wore in NINE Tough Mudders. They are durable as crap, comfortable and in my opinion, a perfect all-around shoe.
9. Discovering New Running Routes
Last night’s run was just around my neighborhood but took a slightly different way than I normally do cutting through a part of the community I rarely see. Changing up your old routes even only slightly is a great way to breathe new life into your running routine, especially if you are trying to get back out there after some time off.
8. Trying a New Running App
I’ve been using the Nike+ running app pretty much since I started in 2008 but recently I downloaded Run Keeper to mix things up a bit. Unfortunatly I’m having GPS issues on my phone so neither work at the moment but using an app to track my runs has always been a huge help in motivating me to get out there.
7. Finding a Partner
Plan a running date! Running with a buddy is super fun and helps pass the time. I’m always shocked at how much more distance I can cover with a friend without even realizing it!
6. Starting a Streak
Setting a running streak goal is a fun way to give yourself a motivational kick in the pants. I’m seriously considering another mile a day streak through the summer. I really enjoyed it last year.
5. Signing up for a Race
This was my secret running weapon for years. I’d set a goal to run an event a month and it kept me running like nothing else! This year I don’t have the time (nor interest) to run lots of 5ks but I signed up for a half in October and — dun dun dun — a FULL in November. Yeah … I really need to rediscover running and quick! Training starts soon!
4. Making a New Playlist
I have one running playlist on my phone and I’m SO OVER IT. Totally time to get inspired and pull together some new songs to keep me going on my next run.
3. Discovering Podcasts
I really, REALLY, enjoy running to podcasts. My latest three current favorites are Jillian Michaels, Freakanomics, and Girls Gone Sporty. Maybe this is a mom thing but getting 30 minutes to listen to something I enjoy without being interrupted is motivation enough to go out for run.
2. Scheduling it
Look ahead at your calendar. Where can you fit in 20 minutes? Can you sneak out before the kids wake up? Can you go in the evening? After work? During lunch? I always run more when I plan my runs even if it’s only the day before.
When the time comes and your calendar alerts you to your date with your running shoes, DON’T IGNORE IT. Stop what your are doing, strap on your shoes and walk out the door! That’s by far the hardest part for me, getting out the door. Once I’m out there it’s all good.
And the No. 1 way to help you rediscover running is by…
1. REMOVING ALL PRESSURE!
This is a tough one at the moment. I need to stop comparing myself to my older self, well, I mean my younger self. Grrr, you know what I mean.
I was never a super fast runner. I started out about a 11-minute mile and at my best I could maybe, on a good day with all the stars aligned, maintain a 9-minute mile during a 5k. Now I’m back at about an 11-minute mile again. I feel slow and awkward. It feels like I’m a new runner all over again and sometimes that can be discouraging. Who am I kidding?! It’s discouraging!
My goal is to enjoy the run, stay in shape, and maintain my activity level. All of those things don’t require any additional self-inflicted pressure to be achieved.
Now, let’s get out there and run!
(Or walk if that more your speed.)