It’s been six months since I traded in beaches and burritos for high-rises and ramen. And during that time, my relationship with running has a been a bit rocky. I really loved running in San Diego – the scenery is beautiful, the weather is always perfect, and there are races every weekend – it’s a runner’s dream! And of course, I can’t forget my running club and BRF (Best Running Friend) – @TheHungryRunner_
So leaving all that behind and moving to a new country with narrow sidewalks (or zero sidewalks at times) and actual unfavorable weather sort of derailed my running momentum. It was also a bit depressing not having my running friends and weekly races to look forward to. Because of the move and the transition, my running became inconsistent and I sort of felt “lost” with my running. What am I training for? Why I am I running? What am I even doing?! I definitely began falling into a running rut. 😦
Another challenge was finding quality places to run close to my house. Basically I have three choices: a track, a treadmill at the family gym, or a running path with a decent view of Mt. Fuji on clear days. Kind of an adjustment from the assortment of beaches and trails I had to choose from in SoCal.
After a few weeks, I basically lost my running motivation and began just running minimal miles each week. I stopped focusing on running so much and started embracing the Japan life.
Then I missed the idea of having running goals and began running a little bit more. I started taking advantage of the track (speed work anyone?) and started aiming to run a little more (or a little faster) each week. In December, I did the WeavRun streak challenge and successfully ran for 30 days straight. The streak really helped motivate me to challenge myself and work on cadence. I even started to incorporate more strength work and found out that I love kettlebell swings, box jumping, and ball slamming!
Then after New Years I took two whole weeks off! No running, no gym, no counting miles, reps, or calories. I just took time to relax without worrying about not getting in a run or workout session each day. I literally stopped to smell the roses! 😉
I took the time to not only reset physically, but also mentally and spiritually. I decided to write out some goals for the month, the year, and next few years.
After my little running sabbatical, something magical happened… IT SNOWED! And I HAD to run in this winter wonderland since I knew it would only last a day. I ran slow so I wouldn’t fall, but it was super refreshing and peaceful!
Then I started building up my weekly mileage again and found out that the track isn’t so bad. You can zone out and not worry about traffic, work on your speed, and its super soft and much better on your joints than road running. 🙂
I’ve even discovered some beautiful running paths in the nearby parks. The forests in Japan are green and super dense, which makes for some peaceful and reflective running.
What I discovered through this transition was that I don’t NEED super lofty race goals or shiny medals (although those are nice) to enjoy running. The break reminded me why I started running in the first place. Because I LOVE it! Sometimes preparing for races can get stressful, so I realized that I actually needed a break from all the bling chasing. It finally dawned on me that I don’t HAVE to run…I GET to run!! Last week, I went out on a run with no pace/distance goal at all. I just slowed down, took in my surroundings, and enjoyed the run! I fell back in love with running by letting the run lead me instead me leading the run.
Okay, back to the races. Races aren’t really that prevalent in my area, but I’ve kind of enjoyed having my weekend mornings open to new possibilities. However, I do have my eye on a couple of local races coming up…so stay tuned! Also, I’m excited to announce that I will be participating in some Virtual Races this year too! So I will be reviewing those as well!
I’m also working on possibly starting up a mom’s running group in my community because I’ve had a few new moms ask me about where to start with running. And I would love to share the running LOVE!
I’m really glad that I have found my love for running again and I can’t wait to share my excitement and motivation with everyone else this year!
“Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.” ~Julie Isphording
And P.S. – I still miss my BRF! 😉
I’m off to chase some goals! 🙂