Stay Awhile – Let’s Catch Up!

Hello, internet people! Remember me? Yeah, it has been a while. Last I blogged I had taken a week off for my hip, took a break from my running coach, but was still chipping away at some miles. Yeah, that took a nosedive immediately after the clocks changed and it starting getting dark at 4:30pm. I haven’t run since *checks calendar* November. Oops. Those that know me know I hate the cold and we got a lot of snow/slush this winter so I basically avoided being outside. Coupled with outbreaks of COVID and not wanting to go to my gym for some cardio on the treadmill, I basically just stayed in my apartment. It didn’t help that my thyroid always gets more sluggish when it gets darker and cold and some weeks I struggled to have the energy to even do basic life tasks (yay, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism </sarcasm>). So this rockstar has certainly not been doing much running, or any sort of working out at all!

So what have I been doing? I’ve hit some major milestones with my PhD program and I passed my National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach exam, which feels good. I also resparked my creative side and opened a shop on Etsy (which you can find here, if you are interested). But I’ve gotten to the point that I’m starting to crave being outside again. I’ve also spent way too much time at my desk and my hip flexors have been bothering me, so I have been craving movement as well. Today I went for a 3 mile walk and my anxiety dropped significantly. It’s amazing how that happens. Sadly, I think I’m going to be feeling it tomorrow though! I can tell what little core strength I had is gone because I could feel muscles in my hips and core getting really tired on my walk today, which is just sad. I’m 36, not 80.

I’ve been fully vaccinated so I’m not as concerned about COVID anymore, but my mask really helps block the pollen and my lungs and asthma don’t get as cranky!

While walking, I started to think about some of my goals. I want to get back to running, but with my autoimmune issues, it can sometimes be a struggle. I feel like every time I’ve tried to restart running again, I move too fast for my body (even though I try to start slow) and I end up injured or exhausted. It’s hard to explain to someone without autoimmune or thyroid issues, but it’s like I have an exercise intolerance. It takes a long time to build up any sort of endurance, my body gets crazy sore whenever I try something new (even when I take it easy to start), and it takes me extra long to recover, which is frustratingly annoying. So I’m going back to basics. Before I ever started running, I went for walks on my dinner breaks at work. So for now, I want to slowly build my aerobic capacity and get back to a 3 mile walk feeling easy before I try running again. I also want to strength train to increase overall daily functionality but also to make running easier when I get back to it. I know it in my very core (pun intended?) that strength training will be the key to getting back to running consistently and to getting back to how I used to feel before my thyroid stuff got bad. But I really hate strength training. I can’t tell you what it is, but I get so sore when I strength train that I can’t workout again for a week, even when I cut reps down and don’t use weights. And it’s not just me being a wimp. The workout itself often doesn’t feel that hard, but I can barely move for days afterwards because the DOMS is so bad. It’s then really hard to build any sort of consistency when you can’t workout more than once per week. If anyone has any insight, feel free to drop me a comment because it’s really hindering me.

Then, once those goals have been met, I want to start running again. I want to be able to run (not run/walk) 5 miles as my long run consistently by the end of the year. Sounds totally reasonable but with the autoimmune stuff that’s not always the case, so we’ll see how that plays out. I want to start slowly and do it right this time, rather than always trying to push, because long term, I want to finally break 30 minutes in the 5k. I have been chasing that goal for so long, but haven’t been able to really commit to solid 5k training because too much speedwork (or mileage, or strength work) causes my thyroid issues to flare up and I become super fatigued and really cranky. It’s such a thin balance between recovering adequately and crashing and burning. So since races are still largely virtual, I have the time to take my time and build up slowly. Hopefully now that it’s out there I’ll be able to keep myself on track and it won’t be another 6 months before I post again.

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