Saturday, January 7, 2012

Giving myself grace during the race

Here is my ideal relaxing Saturday morning: sleeping in a little later than normal, going for a long run, coming home for some yummy coffee that the hubby brewed while I was gone, and relaxing a bit while he runs.

I love my Saturday runs...or more recently, my Saturday walks. I realized I was using exercise as an excuse to overeat. So as I've been focusing on a better relationship with food I haven't been exercising as intensely so I don't revert to old ways. So for about 2 months my main cardio has been walking. It gives me a chance to slow down and reflect on why I exercise, and what I really want to be doing, not what the latest fitness marketing tells me I should be doing.

I've come to realize that many of the latest exercise crazes (P90x, Insanity, etc) just aren't for me. My joints can't take it and they end up doing me more harm than good. I also don't ENJOY them. There are plenty of forms of exercise that I enjoy, so I'm not going to spend my time on ones I don't enjoy or hurt me beyond just the good muscle burn. Many of them also continue to propagate an unhealthy and unrealistic body type.

But I've realized I do enjoy running. It is good for my mental health, and I enjoy the social aspect of joining friends for races. I love the way it makes me feel.

So last week I began adding some running back into my Saturday workout. No other days, just Saturday. And it felt good. Really good. I was ready to start building my running, but I am making myself wait until March (still working on that whole eating thing). So today was a running day...and my hips and knees were telling me they didn't want any part of it. I haven't spent enough time stretching and with my arthritis, some days are just like that. In the past, I would have forced my body to do it and had my hips screaming all the way...and probably for a few days after. But today, I listened to my body and just walked. I gave myself the permission to be okay with doing less, knowing that on another day my body will be ready for more (the Warrior Dash will be here in June...)

Find exercise you LIKE! Find something that helps you feel better physically and mentally. And be okay with having days that you need to take it down a notch, because there will be other days when you can go up hill both ways, with the wind in your face, brother on your back, with no shoes...and like it!


  1. Gina! I didn't know you have a blog! I totally "feel ya" on this post. I haven't been running a lot lately. I'm doing a 12 minute, pretty high intensity work out but usually only 3 days a week. I've been trying to eat the things my bodies needs and not the empty calories from sugar that lead me to work out in excess. Thanks for this.

  2. Hi Kristin...just recently started blogging for the fun of it. I'm enjoying it. I don't know if I'll ever find a good balance of exercise and eating (I think true balance is somewhat of a myth...I'll blog on that at a later time), but getting a better picture of what that really means...and it doesn't mean living in the gym:)