Returning to running (Read 73 times)

Dream Maker

    I used to be a real runner. Qualified for Boston (one year), ran over 100 marathons/ultras, did decent weekly mileage most of it...

     I've taken an extended time off (Like runs here and there but not running regularly)  I last ran regularly ending a year ago  (when school started last year it stopped, basically) when I ran for five months at 65 miles per week after around the same amount of time off first.. I was able to build back mileage very fast after that break but I was only up to 180 lb then...

    I managed to gain a lot of weight and right now weigh almost 100 lb over my best running weight... 90 lb over when I qualified for Boston... 70-80 lb over where I spent the vast majority of my adult life.   And I'm only 5'4.

    Starting to run again and I gotta say, much harder than when I originally started to run or when I came back last time, or when I've come back after either pregnancy.  (Each pregnancy, I was lighter even 9 months pregnant than I am now though.) 

    It's been a few months and I'm still struggling and doing very low mileage and requiring a slow run-walk and I'm hurting so much doing so... . especially shins, ankles, and hips.  though the 5k minimum a day in July streak helped me do more than previously  I had a good 9 mile the other day where the final 6 I was able to keep it under 12 minute miles and feeling great the whole time , out of nowhere that I'd expect I could handle from runs before then, but it basically took me out of training for a week. Wow.  

    I got into the Flying Monkey Half (used to like to run the full because it is probably the best marathon in the country) and I'd like to be able to run the whole thing despite the hills.  Yup, just the half. Nothing else.  So that's my main goal.  It's hard because it feels like a pathetic goal given my personal previous goals, but it is a good stretch from right now.

    I guess I'm here looking for support and motivation from others who may have come back.



    Dream Maker





        Hey Heather, I hear you! This summer was super discouraging for me, I was on track with my marathon training and hoping to BQ at Twin Cities when some nasty knee stuff flared up. I was running so well. After working with a PT i have decided to change my running form from heel striking to forefoot striking and the change is... well, it's slow. It took a couple of weeks for my calves to adjust, now i'm just trying to rebuild everything that i had. it was a crushing disappoint to me to have to give up Twin Cities this year, it was definitely a bucket list marathon for me and I felt really down and depressed for a couple of weeks. i feel like every runner i know can heel strike and remain injury free and run however much they want to, but i can't.


        i had a nice pity party for myself. and now it's back to work. I have not run more than 15 miles a week in over a month. its hard to know where i started from and what i was building towards and what i am currently able to do. but that's life sometimes. I didn't have as much time off as you, but you just gotta press through. do what you can do. be smart about how much you push yourself. don't push yourself to do what you did two years ago, do what you can do right now. don't get hurt. watch what you eat (i realized that dropping my miles from fifty a week to almost nothing meant that i could not eat nearly as much as i had gotten used to!!!) be consistent. you got this!!!!

        Mr MattM

          Heather, I hope to see you in Nashville!


          I've basically been out of 'real running' for the better part of 5 years.  I, too, had a really strong history of racing including over 50 marathons with a sub3 and once running 6 marathons in 9 days in 6 different states.  At my peak, I was regularly running 90+ mpw.


          After breaking a toe and some other 'life issues' my training went to hell and I just haven't been able to get back basic 'marathon shape' where I feel I could even finish...


          I love the Monkey (though Trent the RD sucks- ask anyone) and will try, yet again, to get into decent enough shape that I can finish it. I need to drop 30lbs so I'll be struggling right along with you!  I use MyFitnessPal.com to track my calories and Strava to track my runs. Seems to help me stay on track.


          Good luck!  Keep going and don't push too hard.

          So, I did a thing.


            I think the important thing is to not constantly compare yourself to what you did in the past.  I know that is hard because i do it quite frequently, but those types of thoughts aren't helpful.  It sounds like you took a lot of time off and basically are starting over completely, so just work on building your base and have fun with it and don't get stuck inside your own head too much.  Try to relax and enjoy your runs

              I'm 25 and just going back to running. I was never stellar but i did run a lot in high school (got within the top 10% of the 5K) and did several HM. It's discouraging when you realize that a lot of the training is just basically replacing fat with muscle (i'm not fat but I've gotten closer to what you call "skinnyfat" due to aging, college and beer). But what's the alternative to running at all, right. NOT running ever again.


              As far as I can tell it works like this. You run, and run until you get tired. Rinse and repeat. Then one day you go running and find the same distance / effort doesn't make you as tired anymore and you can either run further or the same distance effortlessly. Thus, the basic training formula. I don't make it any more complicated than that because I'm not interested in being competitive, I'm just interested in staying skinny and what you could call athletic relative to most grown adults lol.


              The biggest thing I learned is that the more time you take off the harder it gets, that's all. So no matter how shitty I feel I let my internal cheerleaders laud me for at least putting in the effort and going for a run after a long day at work rather than sit on the couch and drink and play Fortnite.


              I do sometimes smoke a bowl before / after runnin' tho. That's a different story.