Before I had my son in 2011, I was in the best shape of my life, thanks to running two marathons (2009 and 2010) and ten half marathons in those same years. Then the little guy showed up and although I did get out there and walk and hike with him, I never fully returned to running.
Not that I didn't try.
But 2010 feels like a long time ago, and after another attempt to get back into running form, I've decided that maybe now just isn't the right time. First of all, the formula that worked for me in 2009 and 2010 (joining a running group) isn't feasible right now, and second of all, the sheer joy of running is completely absent from my life right now. After much fretting and frustration, I've decided at this time, I have other priorities. Running half marathons and running in general isn't at the top of the list.
I'm still committed to being active, and I've decided I can achieve that goal, just at a slower pace. I know that if I want to effectively keep weight off, running still beats walking, but all the other health benefits still apply to walkers, according to this New York Times article. To compensate, I'm doing my best to keep to healthy choices and healthy portions, and I do this by tracking everything I eat on MyFitnessPal.
I'm currently aiming for 10,000 steps a day, the recommended amount, but as I get more consistent with my walking, I'm going to try and raise the goal to 12,000 steps a day. My Fitbit device helps me stick to my daily goal, and I've found that if I don't go outside for a 3 mile walk, there is no way I will hit 10,000 steps for the day. So I've got my own personal "coach".
As my walking gets more consistent (I'm aiming for 5-6 days/week), maybe I will start running again. For now, I add in a little running here and there if I'm feeling extra energetic on any given day, but for now, I'm just happy that I'm getting outside every day.
It took a bit of convincing, but I'm happy to be a walker. For now. I'll leave with you a few photos from a recent walk of mine...