During the last few months, I’ve taken a break from running. (I ran 4-5 times throughout the past 3 months.) In the spirit of ‘changing your routine’ (that’s tip #4 on this post), I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone. Not running 4-5 days a week, like I have been for the past 2 years, was completely out of my comfort zone. (Sidebar: how insane is it for me to say that?!) I also felt that I began to take advantage of running because I found myself skipping my runs. I was getting too comfortable. I didn’t like that. I needed to think of a way for me to snap myself out of it in a very real way. I needed to shake things up again. I guess you could say I wanted to punish myself. So, I made myself stop running. I did it so I could remind myself what I was missing.

Instead of running, I started exploring other ways to perform my daily cardio. I started going for long walks and became good friends with the stairmaster and various ellipticals at the gym. It was difficult at first – when I first started using the stairmaster, I swear I wanted to stop within 2 minutes of my workout. My muscles were not used to this shit! But I continued it and I found myself looking forward to kicking that stairmaster’s ass by the end of the month.

And like clockwork, I found myself really missing my daily runs. I miss the crisp air in my face, the pavement beneath my feet, and talking myself into tackling the hills on the trails (literally talking to myself out loud). I knew it was time for me to get back on the road.

Today was the day. I went for a run outside even though it’s a little chilly (8 ° C) and holy crap did I get my ass kicked. I didn’t realize how much I’ve taken my ability to run outdoors for granted. My throat was killing me, my nose started running, my lungs were crying for help and my legs started to burn. Ahh…. yes. This is what I wanted. This is what I’ve missed. Come back to mama.

I got home after my run and I had a new outlook on running. Even though I had fallen in love with it earlier, like many other relationships, over time I felt too comfortable and the excitement just wasn’t the same. I am so glad I decided to take this break and I am confident that my plan worked! Can’t wait to run everyday this week!!! :)

Reflective Question: Have you ever changed your fitness routine this drastically? What did you do and what impact did it have on your over all fitness goals and lifestyle? If you haven’t done this before, are you thinking of doing it now?

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