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Walk Breaks

So in the attempt to get my ‘fitness’ back, I really had to start basically at square one again. Starting from scratch is difficult because when you try to go out and run you feel like a slug, but you KNOW, not that long ago, you were running long training runs. Where does it all go?

It’s when you go out and run and it feels like you got punched in the stomach, are sucking for air and working SO hard, and your barely at a walk. Awesome feeling. It’s nothing but discouraging for me. One of the things that I REALLY have to work on is that understanding that walking IS NOT GIVING UP. Walking is a way of listening to my body, and working back into where I was fitness wise.

All during my running competitively “career” in  high school, it was drilled into my head that walking is BAD. You cannot WALK. I mean, when you are racing and running, you are not WALKING. It took me a long time to get to where I am today to even not look at the watch and be concerned about my time and pace, and to ENJOY running. To enjoy the fact that I can run, and if that includes walking, so be it.

I had to learn how to enjoy running, and teach myself the difference between how I used to run and how I run today, how to find my own pace and realize that I’m NOT the runner I once was. I was working out WAY more than I have time for now, and I have a life, a job, I’m a, term used loosely here, grown-up. I still love running, but I love running for running, and I sure don’t like racing, in the term that I know it as from growing up.

When I first started running after high school I always wanted to be fast. Run as fast as you can. ALWAYS. It was always a race. Now I seem to saunter along, and I truly try to take everything in. The leaves crunching beneath me, the sun rising in front of me, the old man always out for a walk with his German Shepard, which scares me. The two golden retrievers that bark at me over the fence on my way back home. The music in my ears that keep the cadence of my feet so consistent, except when some ridiculously fast song comes on, and then I don’t even know I’m speeding up, and before I know it I’m huffing and puffing again and my lungs feel like exploding and I realize, oh that’s because I just ran way to fast for three minutes, thanks to Justin Bieber. And sometimes, when I am out running, I get tired. I get slower. I feel my shins hurt, or my knee tighten and you know what I’m okay with now? Taking a walk break. Taking a moment to make sure that my body is okay. Slowing down my pace to catch my breath. Walking isn’t the end of the world like I used to think.

Because you know what I realize? Okay, I just needed to catch my breath. I just needed a second to make sure my leg wasn’t going to fall off, and I start putting one foot in front of the other, faster and faster, and before you know it, I’m back running again. Right where I started. Running.


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  • Reply Just Run With It

    I’m proud of you, girl. Who cares if you walk for 20 seconds between miles?! Guess what, you’re still running laps around the people who decided to sleep in today (that would be me). And you’re taking care of your health. I admire the people who struggle but still get out there, waaay more than those who don’t even try. (bahaha, Justin Bieber. “I just ran way to fast for three minutes, thanks to Justin Bieber” awesome.)

    November 16, 2011 at 11:30 am
  • Reply @DaniRuns

    Don’t worry, you are not the only one. I totally know how you feel! Do you ever feel like even walking is too much? Like you seriously want to just stop and sit! haha it doesn’t even matter if it’s in the middle of the pathway or sidewalk. Sometimes I have to just laugh. I think, ‘I just ran an 8 miler two days ago and now I need to sit after 1 mile!?’ I have even said out loud to a running buddy ‘I think I need to sit down’ and she said ‘Wait right now?” haha oh the joys running brings to our lives ;)

    November 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    I’m such a newbie I don’t ever sign up for a “race” I actually like to call them events. :) I will admit though, when I’m running I don’t like seeing people pass me. It definitely motivates me to push harder. My kids ask “did you win?” and I’m like, “What?” it catches me off gaurd every time. Yeah, I’m sure if you once ran competitively, reprogramming your brain must be hard. BTW, Are you going to Blissdom? It’s the funnest blog conference ever. You should think about it. :)

    November 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Joselyn

    Thank you for posting this…I get so caught up with times and races that I forget why I love running so much. My favorite runs are in trails without a watch. I just get lost in the scenery and it’s amazing. It makes running so simple. I need to get there again and you reminded me of that. Thank you!

    November 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm
  • Reply Missy

    When I first started running I thought walking was bad too, but now I have realized that it helps your muscles recover while you are running.
    I had starting over with running, I always feel sooo out of shape!

    November 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply Carla Runs The World

    Ugh, I’m starting from scratch now too, and it’s SO HARD. I keep comparing the “old” Carla with the “new” Carla, and feel embarrassed that even 3 miles is hard, when I used to call 10 “easy” runs.

    But we must get back there, right? We must.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:44 am
  • Reply Alisa

    Walk breaks are totally necessary in my book. I’m building back to and for me I love knowing that I’m going to get a “mini” break. I think it’s actually helping me get faster overall.

    Keep it up chica!

    November 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply Joy

    As I started to focus more on my times & trying to get faster, I’ve noticed less around me on those runs since I’m so focused on the pavement in front of me. I don’t think it’s a good thing.

    I’m a big fan of walk breaks – I Galloway’ed it through my last marathon, & my time wasn’t much different.

    November 18, 2011 at 5:54 am
  • Reply Fiona McG

    Thank you so so much for this post :) I did myself a fairly serious injury and im so freaked out about not running and that I will be crapzoid when i start again. So THANK you for this inspration. I hope the first time I run again I will be so happy im running that I dont even notice!

    November 18, 2011 at 6:37 am
  • Reply Lazy chick

    Great post!! One of my running friend always has a race goal of not walking at all, she made it sounds like running is so shameful. Ummmm…frankly, I’ve been walking some at my last few races, but Im not ashamed of if, if that’s what I need, so be it,

    November 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm
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