About that time again

So it’s been about a year since I started running regularly again. I joined my gym at this time last year and felt empowered to take control of my body and my health. The year has been quite a rollercoaster and although I have done a mostly excellent job at keeping up with my running habits and even relished the noticeable changes in my body, the last few months have been too busy to put  fitness first.

Lookin' good!

Lookin’ good!

What a silly concept, too busy to put fitness and health at the top of your list of priorities? But unfortunately that’s how it so often is. With so many things going on day-to-day and my constant houdini-ing around the globe, it’s hard to maintain consistency.

That is, of course, one of the many reasons running has become such an attractive option for exercise. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can always find somewhere to run – in a park, down the street, through a city, at the gym, etc. You can’t just magically have a bike anywhere you travel, or an elliptical machine, or weights. Theoretically, running really is the best option.

But every time I travel it’s difficult to find the right place, or find the time, or the right climate or conditions for a good run. Plus my travels are usually accompanied by an equally overbearing jetlag. So, I end up taking a break…(like, ahem, the last 3 or 4 months.) Which means it’s always like starting from scratch when I do get back to the gym.

So yesterday was my comeback day. Not in the “First place at the marathon” kind of way, but in the “I’ll be happy if I finish the race” kind of way. I did it, sort of. 25 minutes would have seemed like a joke just a few months ago when I was pushing myself to 50 or more. But I can accept that 25 is a reasonable starting pace for a few months off the track.

The biggest challenge I faced was not shortness of breath, nor pain in my chest, nor even boredom. My biggest challenge was an irking pain in my right hip and knee. The pain which kept me from pushing farther and which caused me to take a few minute break in the middle to stretch out and regain composure.

My future awaits

My future awaits

I am hoping the pain is temporary, or perhaps just from pushing an immobile body “too hard” on the first day. Or maybe it’s just the shoes. Sure, let’s blame the shoes.

So my goals have temporarily been revised from running again, to running without pain. I’ll try out a new pair of sneakers this week to see if it makes any difference. And (gulp) if not I guess it’ll just be another excuse to go see a doctor!

Has anyone else out there has physical limitations or challenges to starting up exercise again after a long time off?

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