I am SO glad I said “yes” to the course; and so grateful my hip and feet gave me no cause for concern. After however many years it’s been, I’m baaack.
I’m much slower now. Even though I had lost around 30 pounds long before I started this journey, I’m still carrying about an extra 40 pounds around with me and I do believe that is a large factor in my current speed.
I continue to run 3 times per week, but if I have a day when I just cannot get it together, I don’t sweat it and take the day off. Not more than once a month. As slow as I am, I am actually faster now in portions of my runs. I discovered when running the same route I had to pad more distance on the end to run out the clock.
I also started mixing it up between running on the sidewalk and running trails. We have a lovely huge off-leash, multi-use park here where the trails form a loop to and from the parking lot, so I can bring my wee pup with me and let her run, sniff and catch up as she wants while I run the trails. I’ve discovered I can run much further on dirt than on concrete.
September 24 I ran 30 minutes non-stop for the first time. I mash up running 10:1s and non-stop. In the old days, once I could run 20 minutes non-stop I quit run/walking and just added time until I could start running for distance – my shortest route from my house is 3 miles (just shy of 5 km).
October 4 I ran 5 sets of 10:1 for the first time. During the following week I ran 42 minutes non-stop. At this point, my legs are the indicators of how tired I’m getting. As I run slow enough to talk, my fitness level is now such that, even if I start to breathe a bit heavier it’s tolerable. My leg soreness is the sign I’m either extending my distance or going too fast (for me).
Goal setting is key. Knowing what I want to achieve is the only way to keep motivated. For me, as always, I don’t intend to race — I just want the fitness and endurance. Ultimately, at this age, I will be happy to be able to run 10K once a week with two other runs between 3 and 5 miles. If I can get there and make that my weekly fitness routine I will be content.