All I had to do was Walk…to Run

An animated gif of a walk sequence.

I was reminiscing about how far I have come this year. I always take a look back in July, because it is more than half way to the Fall Marathon season. I cannot believe how fast the summer has moved. I feel as if it just started for me. I have had a few bumps in the road, the weather, an injury and visiting friends who altered my schedule a little, but no harm was done.

I like a little variety in life.

As I was losing my weight and training for my Marathon last year, I kept saying to myself, “Self, all you have to do is walk then run. Just keep going.” I was starting my run/walk technique so I could increase my distance, and even during my training for my run faster repeats. There was a point, where running was very laborious. I could not adjust to my running style.  But I kept at it every day that I could, and even on the days that I could not go out, I went on the treadmill.

When I could not run I walked. Even when I could run but was injured I walked. Walking was the corner stone of every change I made, because in my mind I can always walk.

Eventually, it got easier. Yes, it did, but it took persistence. It’s a mind trick.

First there was the struggling phase where you feel like you are struggle and tired. I know many people start that way, but it is just a start. It’s not permanent. Not that it will never happen during the time when you are more experienced, but it was a learning experience.  As I struggled around the Park circle, watching all of the comfortable runners speed by, I realized that I will one day be doing that myself. It was something to look forward to.

The next stage is the normalization stage. You feel like you can run but it is not effortless. As you push the limit, you will increase the intensity. This is why it feels like a never ending spiral of difficulty. But all is well as you are doing more than you did before. Only in hindsight, do you feel like you have progressed.

The final and last stage is the arrival of the highest level of your running. Usually, you are there when you start tapering as part of your training for a race like a half marathon, marathon, ultra-marathon or triathlon.    The first two phases can return during this time is you take time off or get injured, but most people more to this phase happily before their races mentally and physically. This is the second most positive space to be in before a race or event.

The first space is the “extremely excited, and totally confident about doing well, no matter what your goal was” space. This can come no matter where you are in your training if you prepare mentally to run your race. This is something to consider before setting foot on to the course.

After looking back a year I realize how much walking helped me to run. I used to feel funny or embarrassed when I walked my Park circle.  Yes, most of the time I felt as if I was missing out on something or I felt lame. In reality, I was neither. This year, I decided to adjust my mental thoughts about walking and give it the respect and patience it deserves. I walk now proudly through the Park and on the streets and release my competitive spirit so I can enjoy the training part of my journey.

Last year I ran many races. I did them for many reasons. It was awesome. I am hoping that many people will get to do the same. They will feel the same happiness that I felt. I started small and went big.

GO BIG People!

And all I had to do is walk!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. creatingjlyn says:

    I really love this!
    “After looking back a year I realize how much walking helped me to run. I used to feel funny or embarrassed when I walked my Park circle. Yes, most of the time I felt as if I was missing out on something or I felt lame. In reality, I was neither. This year, I decided to adjust my mental thoughts about walking and give it the respect and patience it deserves.”
    I am doing my first 5K this year which I am very proud of regardless of those who look down and say, “5K? Isn’t that just 3 miles.” to which I respond, “yes it is.” There are times I feel frustrated that I cannot run the entire way, but then I think of the time I spent not walking or jogging and I am reminded that I am better than I was! Thanks for this post!

    1. adriadc says:

      Thanks so much for your comments. A 5K is very difficult. Do not despair. You are doing what some people will never do. Just enjoy and keep going. It really does feel better to do the race and accomplish that goal. Good Luck!

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