January 06, 2022

Return to Running Recap : Week 32

Finally... a post about running! With the cats being sick last month, I had no energy or motivation to go run. (It actually started a little before that... I just had a bad week in general, and then that's when Duck had to go and eat yarn, leading to the chain of events.)

I didn't want to lose all the fitness I'd gained (not saying I gained a ton of fitness since May, but I had definitely improved a lot). I started the Couch to 5K in May and then finished on July 26. After that, I just started running three miles, three times a week. And I continued that up until November.

I decided to branch out a little and try out the MAF180 plan I wrote, but I just wasn't able to stay into it for one reason or another. This is when I realized that I need to go back to the basics: three miles, three times a week. That's actually what I did in 2010 when I started running. Once I was able to run three miles, that's what I did--over and over until it got easier.

Anyway, I figured I'd lost a little fitness after a month of not running, but I was feeling positive that I'd get the fitness back quickly.

I started on Monday. The roads still have ice on them (and I just don't enjoy running in the cold much anymore) so I chose to do the treadmill. Running at my MAF rate is really difficult on the treadmill. It takes time to slow down or speed up and I feel like it's a constant battle with the arrow buttons. So, while on the treadmill, I'd been running at 5.0 mph every single time. I hoped that by doing it enough, it would eventually feel easier and my heart rate would be lower while going the same speed.

I was not feeling very good on Monday--at ALL. My heart was racing, which I figured was because I was nervous to run and I just felt kind of trembly. (During the whole cat fiasco, I started drinking regular coffee again--really stupid move--and now I have to try to quit it again. (It gives me anxiety and I get extremely shaky.) I figured the crappy feeling would go away once I started running. I'm really interested in a book I'm reading right now, so I set that up in front of me to pass the time and I started going.

The first couple of minutes felt easy--I thought that my fitness didn't take such a big hit after all. But by five minutes in, I was DYING. My lungs were burning and my heart was racing. I was stunned--there was no way I could do three miles! I just kept going, hoping that after I got through half a mile so, I would start feeling better. But it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. I just started to focus on getting to one mile and then I said I could quit when I hit that.

So, I stopped after a mile. I just figured I'd have to start there and work my way back up, maybe by adding a quarter mile each run or something. My heart was racing so hard and my lungs hurting so bad, I started to question if I might have COVID or something!

The run was a bummer. Definitely not how I wanted to start off the new year with my running. But I wanted to keep trying...

Today, I did my second run. My goal was to run 1.25 miles on the treadmill at the same speed as before. I didn't feel nearly as crappy as I did Monday, which was promising.

Once I started running, I started to think that maybe I could do more than the 1.25 miles. It felt much easier. I aimed for 2 miles. Once I hit 2, I thought I should just go for 3 and see if I could do it. And it felt like it took forever, but I managed to get it done and I definitely didn't feel like I was going to die like I felt on Monday.

My heart rate was high, but since I'm out of shape again, I just have to keep working on that. I really don't have any goals right now other than to get in three miles three times a week. Once I get back in that habit, I can try to focus more on my heart rate.

Today's run made me feel really good! I was dreading it after how hard the run on Monday felt. But at least I know I can still run three miles and not feel like garbage after! I just need to do it three times a week now.


  1. Yay!! way to push through! 💪 You have the drive to do it. Start wherever and don't judge yourself too harshly. You know (and we know) you can do this. Happy New Year!

  2. I love following your journey. You continue to motivate me! You've normalized so many feelings and struggles for me.

  3. I have been doing your MAF180 plan. It renewed my running for sure. I am on round 4. I really think it has helped get my health level up. Running is very good for my mental health which took a beating in 2021.

  4. I have a very nice treadmill that has been collecting dust for the past two years. I opted to do the stair workout instead, but it's in an old building that's closed through the winter, so the heat is off. I can't bring myself to go there when it's 10 below zero. I need to dust off the dreadmill.

  5. That first picture made me think of your "Jerry Face" display except that you have a "Katie Face". Glad you are getting back into the groove. Congrats on a good 3 miles.


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