Leading up to my wedding and following my move to Providence, running took a back seat for a little while. I ran when I could, didn't worry about workouts, and just tried to stay in good enough shape to fit into my wedding dress!
June and July were a far cry from my high mileage, high intensity spring training. So when I arrived in Providence last month, I wasn't in great shape. Runs were a struggle (not to mention workouts!) and 6:00 pace was about as fast as I could go; add in heat, humidity, and hills to make a pretty rough combination. Each day, I procrastinated going running til the last possible hour, getting out the door at dusk and slogging through 8:00 pace in the dark.
But slowly, I found my fitness again, among the hills of Providence's Blackstone Boulevard, during those solo nighttime runs, amid some sobering miles where I cursed myself for ever getting out of shape. Because getting back into shape again straight-up SUCKS! Twice a year, after my bi-annual break from running, I struggle for 2+ weeks to remind my body that going running isn't a punishment, and that it's not the worst thing I've ever asked of it.
Following these breaks, I'm reminded why many people hate running - it's not all that joyful when you're out of shape! I've consistently found that it takes me a solid 2 weeks (or a little longer, if I've taken more time off) to find my fitness and enjoy again.
For you new runners out there struggling to take up running and find the joy in it, you're not alone! Even the pros hate running sometimes! If while training for your first 5k you finding yourself cursing every mile and considering throwing in the towel, hang in there! Give your body at least 2 weeks of consistent training (and by consistent I mean at least 5 days a week) to get into running shape. Even if you're aerobically fit from other exercise (swimming, soccer, etc), it still takes 2 weeks to find your inner runner. After those 2 weeks have passed, reassess. My guess is that with a little regularity to your running, you'll now have a different opinion :)
I know I do, 2 weeks later (ok really 4 after this extended break). I've finally turned the corner in August and workouts are, thankfully, starting to click! With fast ladies to run with and an awesome husband who bikes with me during my long runs, my excitement for fall racing is building!
Next up for me is a hard tempo effort at the Falmouth Road Race as I race my way back into shape. I'm looking forward to what the next few months hold!