I am a very sporadic runner - last year at this time I was up to 5-6 miles/day, 3-4 days/week and then I got married and started a new job and fell completely out of my routine. This is not the first time I've fallen out of my running routine. I've been going around and around for the past 7 years or so since I graduated from college, building up to a distance I'm proud of and then slipping into running inertia (because of an overwhelming new job, balancing grad school and work, the winter blahs or just no reason at all) until 10+ lbs have been packed on or I have an event I want to get in shape for such as my wedding last year. Now we are talking about starting a family but I know I want to lose some weight (that famous 10 pounds is back) and be in better shape before we start down that path.
So, here I go once again . . . just a few weeks ago I started running again. It will take me a while to get back up to my 5-6 miles/run (I'm at about 2.5 now) but I am loving it (melting away stress, challenging myself physically, eating better, drinking more water and, as always, kicking myself for slacking off for the past year).
To those of you who have truly made running a part of your ongoing lifestyle - how do you do it? What keeps you going year after year? What, do you find is the right number of times to run per week so that you can consistently see improvements (in speed and/or distance) but not burn out? DH and I occasionally bike along the canal path and I like to walk too, but what are your favorite other activities that help contribute to your overall fitness/strength?
DH is a runner but he is much faster than I am and he prefers to run indoors (asthma and the fact that we are up at 5:15 for work every morning and he usually is not home before 8 or 9 at night and it is usually dark by then). I prefer outdoor running and endurance to speed. He has offered to be my "coach." I am saying no way - there are many things he is good for, but this is something I want to coach myself on. We did recently buy our own treadmill which should help me come winter time because I hate the cold! How do you runners keep going through the winter months?