It's been over a year since I first injured my hamstring. It's been nearly a year since I've been recovered enough to run normally. It's been over a year since I last raced. And it's been over a year since I've run consistently.
When I first got injured, I was really anxious and itching to get back as soon as possible. I was cross-training and strength training. I was still in really great shape. I was really watching my food intake to make sure that I didn't put on any weight.
I went to Europe and walked everywhere and didn't eat very much - my pants were nearly falling off when I came home. I ran in August when I was in limbo waiting for my move to the Bahamas. I ran relatively consistently when I first moved to the Bahamas, then I kind of stopped.
Gym shoes on for some serious walking
To be fair, part of the reason I stopped was because I fell in September and (suspected injury) tore some cartilage in my knee. Then, in December, I dropped a cooler full of sharks (most random injury award goes to me?) on my shin and it was so swollen I could barely touch it, let alone walk/run (I suspect I might have fractured it in hindsight). I committed to running the half marathon with the students this semester, then I stayed lazy and injured my foot by jumping on a rock and cutting it
Similar to the cooler of sharks I dropped on my shin....
If you've read this far, then you've probably realized that I've been full of excuses the last year. Yes, I've had some pretty random injuries/ailments, but mostly, I've had laziness and excuses. To be honest, however, only a tiny part of me feels guilty about the laziness. Somehow, I'm still known as "the girl who runs" to my co-workers and to the locals in my settlement, even if I don't do it 4-5 times a week like I used to. Over the last year, I've learned that it's okay to not monitor every calorie or to not work out twice a day, three times a week.
I think I'm ready to get back into it, though. I have to admit, it's easier to be in shape in the States because I have access to a gym and I have control over my food. My job provides me food and we have a kitchen that cooks for us. I eat food here I normally wouldn't, but I eat. I haven't gained too much weight (maybe 5ish pounds), but I'm flabby in places I haven't been flabby in in a while. My pants are a teensy bit tighter. I've made a plan to get back into it and I've started with some Nike Training Club workouts. I'm hoping to get back into running consistently this week.
Old photo from when I first moved here... a "slow for me" long run pace, but at least I was running!
I've made this declaration a few times over the year. This time feels a bit different, but I also know that I don't owe it to anyone but myself to be healthy and to be happy with my body. So, if I fall off the face of the Earth again or fall off the fitness train, that's okay. The last year has been a year full of learning and full of life and my heart is full.
What's the longest time you've taken off from consistent running? What's your secret to getting back into the groove of things?