Yesterday, I ran.
Okay, it was less than a mile of the four miles I did (don’t laugh!), but I ran it, 5 mph. Yet from the knee pain I experienced for the next two days, you would have thought I’d just completed a marathon.
I do at least 20 miles a week of very fast walking (4-4.5 mph), mostly on the treadmill, and it is this routine that resulted in my 60 lb. weight loss and healthy living transformation. I’m very committed to it and have been for over five years now. But I’ve always yearned to be a “real” runner. It seems anyone and their half brother can run a 5K, so why can’t I, right?
Well, the pain is why. Not only in my knees, but in my feet, hips and joints. No, I don’t have a disease or condition, at least not that I’m aware of — because I’m fine when I don’t run. Yes, I wear excellent made-for-running footwear including proper shoes, socks and insoles. Yes, I use a treadmill with shock absorption. I also take my workout outside sometimes, because I love the outdoors, but with the impact of the pavement my body really pays the price afterwards, so I limit that. Age may have something to do with it. No matter how young you still look or feel, you can’t fool Mother Nature. She has her way with your body parts if she wants to.
I’m in great shape now. The best shape of my life. I should be able to run. I can run. But I shouldn’t run.
Not all of us have bodies that will cooperate with everything we want to do. Fitspo and all those motivational quotes online would have you believe that it’s just a matter of will, that “your body can do anything, it’s your mind you have to convince.” I’m calling bullcrap on that one.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s important to listen to your body and what it’s trying to tell you. I don’t want to risk injury or induce any permanent problems, because that could sideline all of my current and future efforts. And I’m not willing to shelve my Brooks Adrenalines or derail my hard-earned success any time soon.
Today I finally came to accept that while I can totally kick ass power walking, my body just isn’t made for any more pounding than that.
Is being considered a runner dependent on speed? Or is it really about commitment and being out there, giving it your best?
Am I a “real” runner? I hope so. I want to be. The way I see it, I’m a runner but my version of running is fast walking.
©Michelle Rogers, Inc.
Find out about my online and in-person personal training services for women over 40.