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Running Through Change

One of my most favorite sayings (wish I could remember the author) is, "It's not the change that is hard, it is the transition."   or on some days I like to say, "It's not the change that will kill you, it is the transition."   And when it comes to running, I find this saying is easily adaptable and applicable when said as, "It's not a change that will ruin your running, its the transition."

Right now my life is full of change which also means I am in a mess of transition.  I Speed_bumps am coming off of my main race/goal of the year, a half marathon, and transitioning back into running for fun.  Coupled with that change is also a change in seasons from warm weather running to cold weather running.  And the daylight savings time has worked its instant magic and so now I am also trying to plan around a daylight running hour or running on the treadmill.   And to keep life challenging, I also just switched jobs and careers.   And I can't forget that we flipped to an entirely new way of eating for our family.   And my husband's work schedule changed, again.  And we are still working through a changing routine for Tucker as he rehabs from his foot reconstruction.

Lots and lots of transition.    Which has translated to not much running.   When I have a routine and a plan, I can do a lot.  But when my planned routine gets throw into a blender, my running suffers instantly.   I find it hard to find time or make time.  Motivation for running is redirected to motivation to find a rythym for life.   Excuses of why I shouldn't run become overly abundant.  And its not because I don't like to run or want to run, but it feels like there is so much noise going on in my life that I can't find the mental focus to plan or complete a run. 

The good news is that I have been through transitions like these so many times over the last few years that I am expert at recognizing the "transition ick zone".   It's a crappy place for my running.  I know I should run and (mostly) want to run but I can't seem to actually run.   It seems like the reasons not to run come at me faster than the opportunities to just get out there and do it.

To get me through this transition ick zone, here is my plan:Transition_sign

  • Guilt free "running break" for 3 weeks.   No silent mental inquisitions, no guilt, no rehash of shoulda, woulda, coulda.    Run if I can but be quiet about it if I can't. 
  • 30 minutes a day.   Just because I am not running, doesn't mean I am letting myself off the hook completely.   I am still trying to get in 30 minutes of any kind of exercise each day.   Walking is a good filler for me because I can do walking meetings or grab a walk over lunch and not get sweaty in the process.  I also like grabbing a bike and catching up on my reading.
  • Finite end date.  I have a day on the calendar of when I need to return to a more normal schedule - about 3 weeks out.   It should be plenty of time to get my feet under me and figure out what routine will look like moving ahead.  It also gives me a few more weeks to decide what my next goal will be.
  • My next goal.  I have given it some thought and I am toying with the idea of a virtual 10 mile or 1/2 marathon challenge over the winter.  My end in mind is to be in 1/2 marathon shape for spring so I would like to challenge myself to run either a 10 mile or 1/2 marathon every month between November and April.   Each year I let my 1/2 marathon training fizzle out after my October race and then need to start up again in the spring.  This year, I would really like to avoid the rebuilding.   Anyone interested in joining me in a challenge like this?
  • Gathering tips and motivation.  Hanging around all of you and listening to your race reports and tips for cold weather running keeps me motivated and energized about my own running.

I am looking forward to hearing your tips on running through transitions as part of tomorrow's Take It and Run Thursday.

Picture of transition sign on Flickr by kriegsman

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Amy, hang in there it seems like the 3 week break wil be a great thing for you and the running.

MCM Mama

Amy, I'd totally be up for a virtual half marathon challenge. I'm feeling a little lost after finishing my marathon, plus I really want to do a sub-2 hour half sometime next spring, so I could use some motivation.

Hope everything settles down soon!


I think the challenge sounds great. I think I'd be in for the 10 mile challenge for sure!

Sounds like that three week break is perfect for you!


Hang in there. You'll get it back.

I am going thru a bit of the same thing since the marathon. It's like the goal was reached, now what? Running has been a struggle. But I allowed myself this little break (about 2-3 weeks also) and now I feel like I'm ready to get back to my regular scheduled program.


After a 6 month break from running I'm just now getting back into the swing. It's tough to make the transition but I am pushing through just the same. I trust you'll be able to make the time and run when you can. You can do this.

Also, I want to say how much I enjoy this community. You're a great writer!


Big big hugs. I'm looking for a new job right now and it's very frustrating, demoralizing and difficult. I can't imagine what you and your crew are going through.

I hope by "grab a bike" -- it's stationary, because reading and riding a real bike -- going to lead to two of you in rehab. ;)

Shoe Running

I'm totally in for a virtual race! I've never run a race of the virtual variety before and I'd love to try! :) Good luck with your transitions! That diet sounds like it could really change your focus in eating. Great work keeping it up!


I would love that sort of challenge!!! Leaning toward the ten miles every month!!! It'd be fun to get a group of us together to do it and report back :)


I *always* say I'm not going to let my base mileage slip after a big race ... and then promptly switch to short runs.

I'd love to join your challenge -- especially since I've got a half scheduled in early March!


Job change?? What did you do?

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