As you have probably figure out about now, November around the FASM blog has been all about the miles. Whether it be running or walking or shuffling or cartwheels. I challenged myself to 30 miles and invited you all to join if you wanted too. My whole goal was to build my endurance to eventually work up to run training again and I got to tell you, it is really working. I might not be losing massive amounts of weight (which is more about my eating habits lately but one step at a time) but I am building back a lot of strength I lost when I got overwhelmed and stopped doing any kind of exercise a couple months ago. I even did some slow running on Saturday and I was amazed at how far I could go. Way better than when I started run training at the beginning of this year.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with starting off small, like vowing to walk around the block or walking 30 miles in a month like me. Nothing wrong with it at all because all healthy habits have to start somewhere. Especially when you have a health condition like PCOS. Most days I am fighting fatigue and after a long day at work I don’t want to spend two hours working out at the gym nor do I have anywhere near the energy I need to do that (which is why I burned out a couple months ago). It is much easier for me to grab my dogs and go for a fun walk in the crisp evening air. Did I want to be able to instantly run? Hell yeah, but I almost killed my joints last time I just started running without building my endurance first. I know better now. My husband always says to me “if you can’t walk a 5k, how do you expect to run one?”
Yesterday I added up my miles so far and I am getting super close to 30 miles (Did you read my tips for making a walk fun yet?). I decided that meant that it was time to once again increase my mileage.
I started off at the beginning of November being proud to be able to walk a mile straight. That mile hurt. My ankles would be sore, my left hip hurt like hell (the one I injured in a freak jammed copier accident) and my very tight IT bands would scream. The woes of sitting at work all day and being someone who has the habit of tucking my feet under my butt. By mid November I had increased my long walks to a little over two miles. My speed increased and I was able to do 2.66 miles in 1 hour. My hips and knees and ankles complained a bit afterwards but nothing unbearable. Slowly my body got stronger and that felt amazing to see that progress in just a couple of weeks.
So yesterday I yet again increased my mileage. I felt great in the beginning. The husband and I were gathering spruce and red berries to do some DIY Christmas decorations and the dogs were doing their usual sniff everything bit.
It wasn’t till we hit the 2.76 mark that I started to really feel it. Suddenly my knee hurt and my ankles hurt. It became all about wanting to give up or sit on the sidewalk and cry. Odd, I usually can muscle through most things, so it seemed odd that I was getting so cranky and dramatic. Mostly it was in my head. You ever do that to yourself? Tell yourself you are going to increase your mileage and then because you built it up so big in your head it seems really hard now? Now don’t get me wrong, over 3 miles is not easy feat and my body is still hurting today, but I was making it a lot harder with my negative mind state. Some days it takes a lot to get out of my own head. But I did it.
As a reward for pushing through to over 3 miles, I got some quiet time to paint my nails and the husband made a wonderful beef stew for dinner with fresh homemade cornbread. Mmm mmm.
Little by little I am getting stronger. This walking challenge has been a great motivator in getting out the door and moving every single day. I am already thinking of new ways to challenge myself in December. Small goals are sometimes the best way to move towards bigger goals!