Running on Empty–Redux

As I make the transition from running 3 miles three times a week to running 6 miles three times a week, I find myself constantly exhausted. I know that my body will adjust and then I’ll be fine, or at least I hope so! I’ve considered cutting back my weekday runs to 3 or 4 miles, mostly to save time, but then it seems like too much trouble to create more running routes so I just run my 6-mile route.

Thinking back to when I transitioned from the Couch-to-5k program to actually running 5k three times a week, I recall it being a rough time. Having written about my journey, all I had to do was review my old posts to look for some inspiration, or at least proof that I could get through it successfully. I’ve given myself fresh reminders that I have run in the rain, run at 9000 feet of elevation, run at 5 a.m. on a treadmill in a darkened fitness room at an airport hotel in Mexico City. I’ve run through snide looks and comments when I was my slowest and heaviest. I’ve run when I didn’t feel like it. I ran on the treadmill through the winter, watching French-language movies for distraction. I’ve persevered. I’ve surpassed my own ambitions.

So, I know I can keep this up…at least through the summer. Summer provides so much daylight that I have time to run 6 miles before work…if I get up early enough. I could even run it after work if I didn’t have to worry about my daughter’s basketball and softball games. But come fall, the days will shorten and I’ll need a different plan. Meanwhile, I really should take advantage of the daylight to move my goals forward.

One elusive goal is to lose 50-60 pounds…weight I mostly gained in my forties and want to leave behind. I’ve lost close to 30, so I’ve made it half-way. After nearly 6 months of no weight loss, it’s time to pick it up. Looking back at my older posts, I know what I did to lose the weight and I know I can do it again. It’s a pretty simple formula, if a difficult task.

First and foremost, I need to watch what I eat and cut back on calories. Spring has been party season with weddings, graduations, and many opportunities for over-eating. I’ve got one more wedding weekend to go, and then I need to buckle down. Second, I need to increase my exercise. I’ve already done that by doubling my running, but the last time I lost weight, I made sure to walk, swim, or fence on my non-running days. Now that I’ve built up my mileage, it’s time to think about my off days. Third, I need to get back to tracking. My Fitbit One does track my steps and stairs, and (when I remember) my sleep habits, but I haven’t even looked at all the data that has accumulated.

Today, a co-worker and fellow runner, told me I should be training for the city’s half-marathon in October. I was flabbergasted. I’ve only just succeeded in doubling my distance from three to six miles…a half would mean more than doubling what I can barely do now. But, deep inside, I know she’s right. I COULD train for a half and complete it in October. Hmm…It is amazing how much confidence I’ve gained through my running.

Find the Joy in the Journey…and the inspiration all around!

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Couch Potato to Runner–Running on Empty