Readjust and run: returning to routine

The past few weeks have been surreal, exciting, terrifying, crazy, stressful and absolutely brilliant.

After months of planning, Husband and I finally took the plunge and bought a house. After reams of paperwork, unpacking and getting to grips with this grown-up malarkey (life insurance?!), we've spent the past couple of weeks settling in... Then we got a puppy.

We didn't intend to get one so soon. The perfect opportunity arose and it just sort of happened. We don't have children, but I can only describe having a puppy as feeling like you have kids. Incredibly tough, but incredibly wonderful.

Our new pup, Talisker. A new addition to the family can throw your routine.


Where does all of this leave my running? Keeping up with a routine can be great for relieving the stress of moving, or any other big change, but it didn't work for me. When I got home from work, getting rid of those final boxes seemed far more appealing than dragging it out any longer than I needed to.

So my running suffered, along with most of my usual routines. My gym was no longer a 30 second stroll away, so needed a bit more planning. Even more so with a little one in the house now. Until the pup can go outside, our dog-sitting shifts induce a cabin-fever state.

How and when do you get back into running after your attention has been diverted for so long?

The trainers are stacking up in the back of the cupboard


The answer is similar to the puppy training we've just embarked on: take baby steps. And plan lots. Running is always so much easier when you've devised a plan, no matter how small - figuring out what you're going to do for the week or two ahead is both manageable at this stage and empowering. Finally, you can refocus.

These past 14 days I've consistently run on three set days a week and I'm reveling in my mini-glory. It's so great to find your legs again, to feel your muscles the next day, to stretch a body that has worked and rediscover that familiar calm of a quiet, solitary run.

There's something so rewarding and empowering when you see those baby steps transform into progress. It takes me back to my Couch to 5K days, when you tentatively step outside with mini goals for yourself. This offers a valuable lesson here. So often we beat ourselves up when we begin to up our game, seeking/expecting bigger achievements. There's nothing wrong with wanting more or having big dreams (in fact, do it!), but we should always remember it's those bite-size steps that successfully get us there.

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