We just returned from a family vacation to Northern California where the kids participated in a swim meet for the first few days and then we toured San Francisco and the surrounding area following the meet.
While the trip was fantastic, I’m restarting training as it impacted my running and it’s been eleven days since I completed a training run.
And this highlights the biggest problem when starting a running program. I haven’t been running long enough to develop a habit or see any positive results. As such, keeping up with my running is all driven by my willpower.
And having the willpower to run regularly is difficult. It’s one of the reasons I’m in this situation. I haven’t kept up with regular physical activity. And the longer I’m away, the more weight I gain and the harder it is both physically and mentally to get started again.
It’s easy to let any and all reasons stop you from getting outside. And that’s exactly what’s happened over the past eleven days.
Our Trip to California
Prior to this trip, it had been a number of years since I visited the San Francisco area. The kids had never been there and I’ve never been there for purely recreation. My trips have always been for work or a few years ago, when we ran the Napa-to-Sonoma Half Marathon, we flew into the city.
Following the swim meet which was near Sacramento, we drove through Napa and stopped for lunch along the way. It’s easy to see why so many people decide to live in the area. The scenery is truly amazing.
Once we reached San Francisco, we stayed in the Union Square area and had dinner at a restaurant under the Bay Bridge along Embarcadero.
The next morning after the rain stopped, we walked from our hotel through China Town to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. We took a cruise through the bay for a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz from the water. And we enjoyed a late afternoon lunch overlooking the bay.
We all slept well that night after so much walking and exploring the city.
After spending the prior day walking the city, on our final day, we decided to head out to Muir Woods and walk among the redwoods. That is truly a remarkable sight. To think that some of those trees have been growing there for over 1000 years is hard to believe. And that the area is less than 30 minutes from downtown San Francisco is also pretty amazing.
After that, we drove to Stanford later that day. The kids are still young but we thought it might be fun to see the campus and the pool. Both are impressive. And the campus visit also involved more walking. From one end of campus to the other and back again.
Where to Find the Motivation
In addition to stalling my training, during our vacation, I also failed to post anything on this site during that time. The two go hand-in-hand.
I launched this site to document my progress starting a running program, getting back into shape, and hopefully qualify for Boston. And when I’m not running, it impacts my writing as well.
So now my choice is to wallow in self-pity and regret or get started once again. I choose to keep moving forward and use this as a learning opportunity.
Especially in the tough times (like when getting started), my thinking is that rather than focusing on the running which at the moment is the hard part, I will focus on the writing which is the easier part.
I will use writing and posting on this site as the source of my motivation for restarting training.
And the hope is that the more I focus on the writing, the more I will want to run as it will be more difficult to write about running if I’m just sitting on the couch.
Essentially, from a training perspective, I’m starting back at the beginning. But the good news is that during the last eleven days, I wasn’t just sitting on the couch.
And even though I didn’t do any running, because we walked so much, my fitness is probably equal to what it was before the trip.
So it’s back to my training plan starting tomorrow morning.
Readers, what techniques do you use for restarting training again after you’ve been away from running?