I was completely smitten on keeping with my challenge for the vacation and I initially did! I ran in Reims and ran at the beginning of my stay in the South of France. Then Christmas came, then sickness came, then London came. Excuses, excuses.
Does this mean I will not run again? It absolutely does not mean that. The 30 day challenge was simply to get me into the swing of running again and it did exactly that! Therefore, if you look at it from another perspective, it was a success!
During those 30 days I was able to listen to my body and see what works in the running routine, and what doesn’t. So now I will tell you about these (very scientific) findings…
Running 2 days on, then 1 day off, does not work for me. It’s just a little too much stress on my body. I am sure that I tried to push myself too hard and started ignoring my body and running simply to complete the challenge.
Running 1 day on then 1 day off does work for me and I will continue to do that.
I cannot pressure myself to run on vacation. If the moment is right and a run is possible then surely I will go, but it is not worth interrupting my touring schedule (especially if I am only visiting for a short period of time), and it’s not worth putting extra stress on the vacation to try to fit in time to run. Also, vacation time is time to enjoy with the people closest to you. I wanted to really enjoy the food, drink the wine, stop worrying so much and I did just that!
When I was in London last week, Max and I walked for hours a day. When I came home at night I noticed that my legs felt as if they had run miles! We also tried some other fun activities like rock wall climbing which was a great arm workout!
Getting back into running when I came home was surprisingly so easy for me! I went for a 30 minute run and was able to cover so much more ground than I could before I left on vacation meaning that my speed had increased tremendously! This tells me that my body seriously needed that recovery time while I was away!
I also found that if the run isn’t fun then it is totally not worth going. I make it fun by listening to different music, running in the most beautiful scenery I can find, changing my course every few days, eating a lot afterwards (seriously fun!), taking a hot bath and stretching in it after the run, trying to beat Max’s speed every once in a while, etc., etc.
Another thing that motivates me to run is how awesome I feel afterwards! This feeling I cannot explain but it is awesome, trust me!
I’m now interested in other active sports as well. We are looking into rock wall climbing here in Lille, swimming and I have always been keen on yoga. Now that my heart and legs are becoming strong, the other muscles in my body want to catch up and the yoga helps to stretch everything out afterwards.
After these 30 days I realize that exercise is more than just for optimal health. Exercise is for fun and for feeling good. There is really no other reason to do it!
P.s. The first two weeks are semi-torturous on my legs as the muscles start to develop but that pain went away shortly after that!