January Runfessions: Back from Beyond + the Fit Five Friday

Yes, it’s been a while

I don’t even know where to start to be honest. I haven’t blogged since September and mostly that’s because it’s just always Groundhog Day over here. I ran out of steam and decided it was better to not add the pressure of blogging, reading, commenting, and social-media’ing to my plate. Sometimes you just need a bit of rest in your head.

While I can’t make any promises to do all the blogging and all the link-ups again, I thought I’d give it another shot!

Why not start back with Runfessions?

Marcia opens up the runfessional every month to give us an opportunity to cleanse our soles… Everyone is welcome to link up; check out her website for the details!

I runfess…

This is a big one actually. I runfess that I am not enjoying running very much lately. Or maybe it’s that I’m training again because I signed up for the Berlin Half Marathon and my body is definitely not how it was before 2019 (pre-Herniagate/ pre-menopause bs). I have engaged my coach again from Runiversity and he plans my trainings each week. These sessions just feel much, much harder than before. Maybe I’m romanticising a time when things were more normal I and FELT more normal. But what is normal anyway?

This particular run was actually ok

To be fair, my feet (yes, now both) are way worse than they were before. I’m not going to whinge on in my first post back in 4 months, but things are not right with my feet, y’all. I predict surgery on both big toes in the near future. Maybe if that’s fixed and I have less pain I will enjoy running more again.

I runfess…

I am still walking more than ever before. In fact last year I’m fairly certain I had double or triple walking KM’s than running KM’s. (I runfess I didn’t really dive into my stats). Obviously there are reasons for that, but to be honest, I just enjoy having that time and space to myself, either with or without a good playlist or podcast. I just really enjoy being outside. No pressure to hit a certain tempo or distance either.

No Hills here. Nope. Flat as a pancake.

I runfess…

I am still spending a lot of time on parkrun – either organising volunteers or doing social media. I runfess while I am super, super happy we have it (we had a short forced break thanks to corona), it does take a lot of time and energy. I’m working with my core team to distribute that energy a bit better now, so hopefully we can only improve from here.

Christmas Day parkrun in Bonn, DE

I have been to a few other parkruns since I last blogged: in Cologne (Rhein Park, Germany) Katowice (Poland), Den Haag (NL), Bonn (Germany) and again in Cologne (Aachener Weiher Park). I runfess I don’t always enjoy these runs either, but that has to do with my body not the parkrun – ha!

I runfess…

I would love to have a bit more engagement on social media, but `I just don’t know how to have that. So if anyone has any tips or groups/pods I can join, please let me know!

Do you follow me on IG?

Speaking of social media, I runfess that I find it funny/ slightly annoying that my cat, got more likes on his reel than ANY of my photos EVER have (of course he had help with that reel *wink*). Lesson learned: if it doesn’t work out being me, be a cat instead.

What would you runfess? Join Marcia’s Runfessions or the crew at Fit Five Friday!

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  1. Marcia says:

    Yay welcome back! I’ve missed you! This is precisely why I cringe when I hear people say they’re going to BQ when they’re 80. SO MUCH CHANGES during the aging process. Especially in women after 50. Not to say one cannot BQ later in life but the trajectory in running changes so much. Sorry your feet are giving you grief. As far as engagement goes, this is something I do not focus on. I know I “should” comment more on people’s posts but it’s not where I choose to spend my time. Thanks for ‘fessing!

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Marcia! and YES so much of this! It is also so different from one person to the next! I would even go so far as to say I wish “we” older people wouldn’t be used as motivation either – like “look at this 80 year old smashing records, what’s your excuse?” Um. That we’re different? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      as far as socials go, I am just going to keep doing what I’m doing. For now :)

  2. Wendy says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you aren’t enjoying running very much right now! Hopefully once the weather improves, it will feel good again. I have no suggestions to improve your social media engagement–I posted a photo of Cocoa this week and it got fewer likes than my fitness posts, lol. I did post a reel last week and I got a ton of likes on it and some new followers too! I think IG pushes those out more. Its the algorithm you know…

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Wendy! I also think when there’s a bit more sunlight I’ll enjoy running again as well. I’m not as confident in the dark in our new location because my most used route is the park. I can’t run there at night. Not that it’s not safe, but it’s uber dark. Well and occasionally unsafe at night like any big city park. Social Media is just a beast I think I’ll never conquer!

  3. deborahbrooks14 says:

    Sorry to hear that your feet are bothering you. coming back from a running break is always challenging. I feel like running goes in cycles for me like any relationship. Nice to see you back blogging! Come on over to the weekly run down again

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Deborah! it really is like a relationship! I’m not sure I’m ready yet for the WRD but I’m for sure going to join the Coffee Talk :)

  4. Coco says:

    It’s always good to hear from you. Running can be great when you feel good, but horrible when you don’t. I’m glad your enjoying walking — nothing wrong with that. I’m sure Parkrun takes up a lot of your time. It’s got to be a passion project!

    1. Renée says:

      thanks Coco! definitely enjoy my walks between runs! and sometimes I even have a decent run so I definitely try to keep those runs at the forefront of my mind! parkrun is definitely a passion project! I hope the dynamics even out a bit this year so I can enjoy it even more.

  5. jenny says:

    Yay! Good to hear from you again. I’m sorry to hear running isn’t feeling great. Maybe stick with it a little longer and if it doesn’t improve… a change of plans? Maybe it’s not the right time for you to do a half. I know it’s a tough call- you want to follow through the commitment you made. But still… training should be fun. Foot issues are hard! I hope you can get yours resolved soon.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Jenny! Definitely sticking with it until the marathon in October. I’m not afraid to run less or run/walk or to even stop for a bit after that. But I have a marathon that needs to be accomplished this year ha! The half may not happen anyway because it’s only in a couple of months and Europe is a mess with covid right now. But who knows. I told Ron last night, we’re going to Berlin anyway that weekend regardless – the hotel is non-refundable haha!

  6. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    Great seeing you back! I wish I had some insight on social media but it seems nowadays everything’s about making Reels and I just don’t have the time or interest in doing that!

    I totally understand that feeling when running isn’t as enjoyable. I hope your feet feel better soon. I still am having issues with my knees when I run, but since I run less, for now I’m bearing with it.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Janelle! definitely agree with on on socials – I have a tik tok account and mostly still only just watch videos rather than make them. I also don’t have the time for that!

      I think mostly with the running it’s just really important to listen to our bodies. Run less if things hurt, run in a different way, walk more, make sure you are not injuring yourself. I want to actually do this for the “long run” so I’d rather run 1 time a week the rest of my life than do something to make it so I can’t ever run again.

  7. If I were in pain when I run I wouldn’t enjoy it very much either. I hope that you can enjoy the half!

    I love to walk. Always have. I meander though, I don’t power walk. I think meandering complements running nicely.

    It’s hard to blog. People say blogging is dying. Maybe. I dunno. If you enjoy it, do it, if you don’t, don’t! Always nice to hear from you, though, Renee.

    1. Renée says:

      Hey Judy, thanks very much! Time will tell with the half for sure. Maybe my new insoles will help?

      I’m not really power walking when I walk. Maybe with a bit of pep in my step, sometimes just meandering. Life is too short to rush through ALL of it and sometimes you need to pet a cat or see the ducks or feed the horses some grass :)

      Jury is still out on the blogging. It’s tough. Just blogging to “talk” is dying. There’s often an agenda linked to a blog. I don’t do this for money, sponsorship or product so… But I like having the history. It’s a living diary!

      1. Yes, I hear you on the diary aspect! It is hard though. I don’t personally like IG & haven’t been on it in forever — I know many love it, so maybe that’s better for you?

        I do not power walk at all. Yes, petting cats are a must!

  8. Glad to see your blog again!!!! I think social media loves animals more than people, LOL. Whenever I post a pic of Max, it almost always garners a lot of attention (almost immediately)…and I’m guilty of being drawn to a cute animal than “another” routine workout/running selfie.

    1. Renée says:

      I should have been a cat!! haha! totally agree with you! Thanks Kim!

  9. Welcome back Renee! Being in pain when you run is so tough to deal with – that was me a good portion of last year thanks to my hip. It just sucks. I so hope you find some relief! It’s great that you’ve been able to walk so much – I take it there’s no pain then?

    The algorithm of IG completely baffles me. It seems to love reels, but I runfess I haven’t had the patience to work on videos.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Michelle! Pain and running really does suck and with the case of my feet there’s not much I can do. So a lot of it is mind over matter. Curious how a half marathon will be for my feet! I still get pain when I walk but it’s not as much pressure on the big toes for some reason. and of course I don’t have to use my arthritic toes in the left foot in the same way as with running. But yeah, there is still pain, usually afterwards!

      IG drives me nuts because if I like one video suddenly my whole feed is videos! No! I want pictures!!

  10. Darlene says:

    Hooray. You’re back.

    Running is hard. I wonder why every race feel harder. But I guess I keep doing it because I know it’s good for me and I enjoy the social aspect of it.

    The same for blogging. Not sure anyone cares what I have to say but it keeps me connected with people I don’t see in person. But hope to someday. But more of the bloggers that I follow no longer blog. It’s not for everyone. I actually enjoy IG more. A few quick pics and you’re done.

    I would add more walking to your running. I bet in a race the atmosphere will get you motivated.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Darlene! I am with you on the running thing. It’s just getting harder and I don’t know if that’s age or covid crap or injuries or whatever. But I do also enjoy the social aspect – especially with parkrun.

      I’m also enjoying more “micro-blogging” like on IG as well. and yeah I took a break but I really do miss the contact with everyone!

      Right now my coach wants me to run slower, steadier and no walk breaks. I need to see how the half goes in April (if it happens) to determine the game plan for the marathon. In the back of my mind I’m thinking the Jeff Galloway method (walk/run) may be the way to go. Time will tell.

  11. Liz Dexter says:

    Lovely to see you back here! I think of you when I’m at parkrun especially. I enjoy my walks and getting outside, though find walking really slow even compared to my running! I’ve just built back up after having my fall in October and then getting a terrible cold – I’ve built up slowly over a number of weeks, which has felt good. At parkrun, I’m now on the core team as the volunteer coordinator, and we have a different person doing the twitter, so I think that’s taken the pressure off the event director a bit though we are struggling for volunteers sometimes (today I marshalled at the last point on the course, was relieved to find the guy at the front was a regular, then nipped back to do barcode scanning, my own idea but a shame I had to do that!). Lots of love to you as you find your way post-meno. I keep blaming things (funny eye, sore hand) on the meno then discovering it’s something else but it’s definitely getting me.

    1. Renée says:

      Hey Liz, thanks so much! I often think of you at parkrun and wish you could get over here to enjoy ours (and vice versa!). The whole involvement with parkrun is much more than I imagined and I’m trying hard to get more people involved but it’s slow going. I am normally volunteer coordinator, social media person, sometimes run director, mostly set up (and take down)… it’s a lot. I love it, don’t get me wrong! but I’ll be glad when more people take over some of these tasks! Still don’t have all my Marshals for upcoming saturday and poor Ron wanted to run (his own parkrun #20 at our 20th event) but he may have to be marshal after all.

      I like to blame the meno for pretty much everything these days – at least with the HRT it’s going better but I still feel like a crazy person occasionally! And HRT won’t last forever.

  12. runswithpugs says:

    Welcome back! I’m so glad to see you!

    I am sorry your feet hurt and you’re not enjoying running. It an be hard. I hope surgery proves tto be the answer.

    Social media is tough sometimes. I know you can’t stand Reels, but that’s where a lot of the action is on IG. I don’t use Twitter and Facebook as much.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Jenn. I know you know the deal with surgery and recovery process… that’s why I’m putting it off until after Chicago! I’m getting more accepting of Reels on IG and even make them for our Sonsbeek parkrun account (and for the cats occasionally ha!). It’s either embrace it or fall behind, right?

  13. Good to “see” you! I hope you get to the root of the foot pain and feel better.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Erica! I do know exactly what’s wrong with my feet but have a marathon to run in October *wink* so fixing the problem has to wait a bit!

  14. Welcome back and good to see you here! I am sorry to hear running isn’t fun. What a bummer about your feet. I really hope they’re better with surgery. Do you have an idea of when that will happen? No idea on social media because I don’t even do enough of it. I post whenever I can and whatever I want. :-)

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Zenaida! I will start the foot process again after the marathon. So depending on when I can get to a specialist and what the covid situation is then (I hope it’s near-to-nothing) it could be as early as next year. I am in a constant state of building up and then having to take time off but it will be worth it.

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