Fitness Goals & Frustration When Things Don’t Go as Planned

My First Half Marathon

Over the summer I set two fitness goals for myself. I was on a mission to lose 15 pounds and improve my 5k running timeI worked really hard toward accomplishing both of them while trying to also be smart and not overdo it in order to prevent an injury. I made incredible progress with both and felt like I was doing a good job of gradually increasing the intensity of my workouts, but then some things started to hurt and ache. I pretty much ignored it and kept pushing through because in all honesty things hurt a whole lot less when I’m running. It’s after that seems to be the problem and to say I’m currently very frustrated would be an understatement. In recent weeks I’ve done way less running and a lot more resting, which is increasing my anxiety because I’m afraid I’ve lost all the fitness I worked so hard to accomplish over the course of the summer. While I have thankfully maintained my 5-pound weight loss I’m pretty certain my 5K pace has become slower. It’s causing me to freak out a little bit, not just because I haven’t quite reached my goal of running it in under 30 minutes, but also because I fear an injury. My calves have been sore and tight, my shins are achy, and my foot arches and heels are hurting so much that I’ve begun to wear sneakers at all times. I know. My body is mad at me and has decided to send me a message. A very loud and very clear message.

The problem is that while I know the smart thing to do would be to rest completely for a few(or several) weeks and allow my body to heal, but there’s that other part of my brain that needs to run and move and work up a sweat while burning calories. It’s as powerful a feeling as the need for water to hydrate and air to breathe. Running feeds my soul in ways I can’t put into words and the thought of taking a break is more painful than the hurt in all areas of my body combined, but I’m trying. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and I’m trying to convince myself that my body will come back better and stronger than before because it has to, for my sanity and for all the future sub-30 5ks I plan to run.

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