Getting My Groove Back

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BJ UCP Half Marathon Shirt 2013

Last year, I worked pretty hard to train for a half-marathon. I hurt my hip (#StupidBursitis) in late July, kept trying to power through it in August, and finally went to the doctor and was sidelined by September. It sucked because I was only a month or so away from my race. I had already registered, though, so I did go pick up my shirt as a consolation prize. I had paid for it, after all.

But I’m better now, a bit smarter, and I’m planning on running the race this year. This year, I won’t just pay for the shirt. I’ll earn it, too.

I’m scared of it, honestly, because I’m behind where I was last year. I’m up to running 5.5 miles a session as of this writing, when last year, I was already up to 7. That’s not a big deal. Even taking it slow and only adding a half-mile to my longer runs each week, I’ll be able to easily work up to running 13.1 miles by October 25th.

I’m excited, though. It was so devastating last year not to be able to run between September and May that I went through a pretty hardcore bout of depression. I hadn’t realized just how much running was my stress-relief and how much I relied on it for my mental well-being. I’m still working through that and some anxiety on a number of things, but honestly, being able to get back outside and run in the sunshine has helped me more than I ever thought possible.

On top of that, I’d really like to start helping people learn to run and love it like I do. I taught myself how to run through an amazing amount of reading and research. Lately, I realized that I really know how to do two things: write and run. There has to be a living in there somewhere, right?

I’ve got a trainer certification, so why can’t I? I’m looking into running coach certs specifically right now just for paperwork to back up my own experience and research, and I figure the more races under my belt, the more attractive to clients I’ll be. As though my weight loss isn’t enough. #humblebrag

Over the winter, I gained weight (only about 10lbs, which is gone now), I stopped updating the blog which I majorly regret, and even though I tried cycling and all kinds of other activities, nothing could replace or even mimic the benefits I got from running.

So now, with the summer almost finished, I’m finally back in the groove. I started going to the gym with my buddy a few days ago–going again tomorrow–so that I can maintain a decent bit of lean muscle and not lose too much of it from the increased mileage that will be coming soon.

I just have to be careful. As much as I love deadlifts and squatting, I may not be doing as much as I want. Those movements put so much strain on my hips that I don’t want to overload and injure myself again. I’ll just be the lightweight in the squat rack or Smith Machine, but at least I’ll be there.

And in the end, that’s what matters. Injury and depression are awful. They took the wind right out of my sails, and as my summer break starts its inevitable sprint toward the fall semester, I feel like I’m finally about to set sail again.

It’s about time.


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