Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting Back Into Shape After A Setback

     Getting ill with a respiratory infection or suffering a long-term injury has always been my fear (that and sitting in a room filled with Christmas cookies!).  Both of those situations mean that most exercise must be given up, training regimens must be put aside, goals put on hold, as the focus is getting healthy once again.  I've had to focus mostly on eating healthy, which has not been easy during the holidays! 
     Now that I'm allowed to get back to exercise and to concentrate, once again, on my exercise goals, it's time face my fear.  It's time to assess where my current fitness level is and face the uphill road back to my previous fitness and redefine my goals. 
     This week, I consciously thought about the best way to start back. The "Tri-It Women" had gained a few members now that the holidays were over and these women want to try running.  I thought this might be the best way for me to get back into fitness, by moving along with new people.  So, when people asked me what I was planning to do, how much distance to run, my response was, "I'd like to try to run as much as I can comfortably."  With a very yoga-like mentality, my goal for this first day back was to listen to my own body and to see where my own fitness level seemed to be currently.  If I was laboring in my breathing, I planned to slow down.  If any of my joints or muscles started to ache, I planned to slow the pace.  I was already pushing myself to get back to exercise, so I wasn't going to push myself at all while exercising now, and see how far I could go comfortably, naturally.  With a new friend by my side, I was able to jog a slow, super slow, 3 miles before my left knee felt like it was seizing up.  So I stopped.  So there it is--my current running fitness level after illness.  I'm facing the fear.  Will I ever be able to do three miles again? I don't know. Will I be able to move on from there?  I don't know.  But I know what I can do now, after a month of forced hiatus from exercise, I can certainly TRY!