Where’s the Fitness?

It’s been a while since I talked about my fitness. While I wouldn’t take back a single minute of my 10/10/10 experience, it’s taken me a while to really wrap my head around the aftermath of it all.

Training for the marathon resulted in me losing fitness. It took me a while to really come to terms with this realization, but it’s true. Before my marathon, I was seriously in the best shape of my life! I was running 3 times a week, lifting weights 3 times a week, and taking two glorious rest days each week. I felt strong and full of energy. I was proud of the muscles that I had developed and maintained.

When I began my marathon training, I was still treading cautiously after having been injured and spent weeks trying to figure out how to balance running with cross-training. I knew that I couldn’t and shouldn’t rely solely on running as my only form of exercise but with a full-time job and very limited time to train, something had to give. I briefly dabbled in the 100 push-ups challenge. I thought it was a good compromise at the time, knowing full well that it wouldn’t replace my regular resistance training routine at the gym. After I plateaued at 60 consecutive push-ups, I got frustrated and rather than work through it, I chose sleep because I felt that I needed the extra half hour in the mornings more than a tired attempt to crank out 100 push-ups. I felt so wimpy! Eventually, I was just running and trying to catch up on sleep. Recipe for disaster, right? I know, I know.

After Chicago, it took me almost a week to even attempt to run again. My left leg immediately began complaining and I could barely run faster than a jog. For weeks, I tried to take it easy and slowly make my way back into running. Time and time again, injury crept back up despite multiple visits to both a registered massage therapist and a physiotherapist. Finally, I had to take two weeks completely off from running. It felt like torture, but I knew it was necessary.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying my best to find balance in my life again. Rather than putting all of my eggs in one basket with running, I’ve been spinning 2-3 times a week, practicing yoga (ranging from restorative to power type yoga) up to 5 times a week, and running twice a week if at all. I’m slowly trying to build my muscle back, but I’m hoping yoga will provide enough for me because I don’t feel that I have time to dedicate to the weight room at the gym.

My hope for 2011 is to learn what works best for me and to have a successful pain-free year. I want to have fun and not worry so much about upcoming plans and races. Rather than meticulously plan everything out, I’m going to try harder to just go with the flow and relax. Last year, I’m signed up for two races for this year that happen to be days after I return from overseas trips (both booked this year). Oops? Apparently 2011 is also the year for impeccable timing.

So what’s next? I honestly don’t know – isn’t that exciting?

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