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The New Rules of Running

So…I have something exciting to share. Over the last few months I have slowly started to increase my running and much to my surprise (and delight!), it has felt 100% amazing and right. I like to post periodic updates on the status of my running since this blog is named Peanut Butter Runner and it used to be such a big part of my identity and life.

If you’re new to the blog, you can catch up on my running history with these posts…

Who Are You? 
Born To Run?
notrunning. And it feels so good.

I am currently on a three and a half year hiatus from distance running but recently I have started to feel a little like my old running self again, but on totally new terms. The motivation to write this post came from an effortless 6 mile run with a friend this morning and realizing that I’ve run 19 miles in the last five days and it’s been the most enjoyable, pain-free five days of running that I’ve had in over three years. I was reflecting on what’s changed to allow me to get to this point so I want to share my new rules of running with you in hopes that it will help others who are in my shoes.

1. I took an extended break from running. After the frustration of dealing with injuries on an ongoing basis, I put running on the back burner and found new ways to physically challenge and strengthen my body. It was also a much needed mental break. Running had gotten to the point where it was more of a stressor for me than a de-stressor and that is no good! Instead of putting a lot of parameters around how much I should be running, I ran when I wanted to. Sometimes it was three miles a couple of times a week, sometimes I didn’t run for weeks. It allowed me the space to lose the “runner” identity.


2. I got stronger. I found CrossFit around the time that I gave up distance running and it was a huge life saver for me. CrossFit challenged me in ways that I had never challenged myself before and made me stronger than ever before. It also gave me a new way to set goals and see measurable progress. I didn’t have to worry about PRs in races because I was setting them every day in the gym. I can honestly say that I am stronger right now at 31 than I have ever been in my life.


3. I got more mobile. My initial motivation for starting yoga was to help with running injuries but yoga became this whole new piece of my life that changed my body AND my spirit. The flexibility, openness and mobility that I have gained from yoga has been a huge help for my body. I am definitely an on-the-go, Type A kind of girl and yoga helps me not to hold so much tension and stress in my body. I also learned all about the benefits of foam rolling and other myofascial release techniques that have been extremely helpful.


4. I quit running races. It’s extremely refreshing to not have a big race looming over your head that you need to train for or worry about PRing. Instead, I now run 100% for pleasure. This isn’t to say I’ll never race again, but it’s been a big part of giving me the space I needed to love running again.


5. I put my Garmin in a drawer and forgot about it. In the past, I would NEVER leave the house without my Garmin. I needed to know my pace and mileage. Even when I ran the same exact running routes day in and day out. I would worry if the pace was slower than normal and I checked it constantly. I will say that the Garmin was an invaluable tool in marathon training and 100% necessary. It also helped me become aware of my pace so that I could do things like tempo runs, speed work and know long run paces. I don’t need it now and I could care less what my pace is! I don’t need that pressure. I find now that I just innately know my mileage and general pace based on time and exertion. It’s a much more mindful way for me to run.


6. I got an awesome new running partner. I used to occasionally meet up with friends for runs but I was predominantly a solo runner. A couple of months ago, a friend I met through yoga invited me to run with her. We had schedules that allowed us both to run mid-morning and it’s rare to find that. It has been the most amazing thing. I SO look forward to our runs for the accountability, fellowship, conversation and motivation. She has pushed me to get back to running 5-6 miles on the regular and I always finish our runs with a total runner’s high. I am so, so, so grateful to have found her as a friend and a running partner.

So that’s where I am with running right now. Will it change again? Yes, I’m sure but it’s a journey like many other things in life and it’s served as a huge lesson for me in learning how to be more intuitive with my body. Most importantly, I feel happy, healthy and injury-free!

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Jennifer June 25, 2014, 7:37 pm

    Since you’re on the subject of running… I noticed that you post a lot of yoga playlists. Do you have some favorite running playlists?

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun June 25, 2014, 7:42 pm

    Love this! I went through a period (thought only about 2 months) where I took a complete break from running and focused on weight training. I was burnt out and it REALLY helped me get back to feeling strong and in love with running again. Sometimes we just need a change!

  • Amy @ The Little Honey Bee June 25, 2014, 8:14 pm

    I loved reading this post. It gave me a lot to think about it.

  • She Rocks Fitness June 25, 2014, 8:45 pm

    YEAH to falling back into love with running! I love running without my Garmin…Lately I just run for a certain amount of time. It just feels right and it is my perfect “me” time, which I need after these crazy days. I’m even embracing the Houston humidity…it feels good to sweat it all out! XOXO

  • Mary-Catherine June 25, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Love # 3 and # 5 – I think those are some rules I’m going to try and target!

    Wonderful post! 🙂

  • Samantha June 25, 2014, 10:35 pm

    With increasing your running mileage, how do you balance it with Crossfit and yoga? I am in the same running direction right now and I want to find a good balance 🙂

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt June 26, 2014, 5:34 am

    What great news! I’m sure it’s fabulous to come back around to your original fitness love. I am also taking a break from the Garmin right now after working all Spring to hit a new PR goal time in the 5K.

  • Amanda Bee June 26, 2014, 8:17 am

    This post is so appropriate for me right now – I’m still struggling with knee pain when I run, but running is by far my favorite activity. Your points about boosting strength and flexibility, I think, are really where I need to focus. Thanks for posting this!

    Also, I totally agree about ignoring distance/pace/etc. if you’re not in training mode. That’s how I really fell in love with running – when I learned that I could just head out the door and leave everything behind for a bit. It’s the best 🙂

  • Caroline June 26, 2014, 10:05 am

    Yes! Love this. I put my Garmin away almost 2 years ago now and haven’t looked back : )

  • Casey @ Casey the College Celiac June 26, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Such a great post! Right now, I’m stuck in the limbo of being injured (IT band strain from being severely underweight) and wanting to run more than anything else. I’m trying to embrace yoga, biking and walking though. Thanks for the inspiration and hope!

  • Amanda June 26, 2014, 2:37 pm

    Thank you for posting this. So many times we get wrapped up in our identities as “runners’ “lifters” or “yogis” or whatever it is and we forget that other things may be good for us both physically and mentallly.

  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run June 26, 2014, 4:41 pm

    How refreshing. I can relate to a lot of what you said here. I don’t want to lose my “runner identity”, but I do want to be healthy and 100% injury-free. Not quite there yet — I know mobility and yoga would help wonders.

  • tara June 26, 2014, 9:34 pm

    this is a great post ! i’m starting to train for my first half marathon and i’m building in lots of contingency plans and selected my training plan based on just finishing and not a specific time goal. i also try to run with others and i let them wear the garmin so i’m not as super obsessed. i would love to read more on how foam rolling and other things like that have helped you. How often/how long/etc ?

  • Lori June 27, 2014, 9:44 am

    I love the idea of mindful running. Especially when so many define themselves as runners and focus on PRing. I think everyone could benefit from not monitoring progress and just doing. LOVE IT.

  • Elizabeth June 30, 2014, 11:44 am

    what running shoes are you wearing in the last photo? Love them!!!!

    • Jen June 30, 2014, 12:42 pm

      it’s the mizuno wave elixir. i love them and they’ve discontinued them!

  • kristy July 2, 2014, 4:14 pm

    i LOVE this! glad you’re back to running more. i agree, taking a step back from the stress of training for a big race enables you to remember why you started running in the first place.

    happy running 🙂

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