First off, thanks to those who commented on my debate to join training running group and who voted in the poll. The commenters raised some excellent questions, so thank you for making me think more about this.
I did attend the meeting last week to get more information. There were quite a few people of all ages in attendance The interests varied from running a full marathon to walking to completing a half-marathon. Some were seasoned runners who wanted to qualify for Boston, others were newbies looking for a challenge.
The program itself is rather large. Last year, they had over 800 people sign up in their three locations. A fourth was added this year for more convenience and option for runners. They expect that this will also increase the total sign up number.
In general, I think the program is laid out nicely with various workouts and rest days in between. There are trainers--some with a lot of expertise, others more like cheerleaders who help runners in every workout session. Everything is done at your own comfort pace. You can move around between groups if you decide to switch from a marathon to half marathon or vice versa. You can join at any time throughout the year. Obviously, there are many people to socialize with. And lastly, you get some cool, free perks!
So with all that in mind plus all those other deeply thought out answers which I'll get to in a minute I have decided NOT to join at this time.
Reason number 1: In the last 48 hours, I have manged to get some sore throat/cold thing, so I just don't feel like it is wise to run, breathing in 20 degree weather, especially when a provoking hack of a cough has ensued.
Reason number 2: I'm afraid of being really strained for time with everything else going on. I know in February especially, things will be getting VERY busy. I'm also still learning my way around here. Take for example the few runs I did last week/weekend. I went on a nearby golf course and got completely lost. Later, I found out it is actually three golf courses combined! After 45 minutes of being lost, I really just did want to get home in the WARM house. That day was windy with a wind chill in the teens or less!
Reason 3 tied in with number 2: I also have a lot of stuff that I want to do with the house, especially near spring. I don't know if I'd really have enough time to get everything done if I'm training. I'm sure it would be doable, but I think I almost need to cut myself some slack here.
Reason number 4: I worry about overexercising/overtraining/obsessive quantity. Even the best sought out plan for me, I still have a tendency to do too much too fast and wind up injured about 2/3 through the training. Though I have learned to take rest days, there is usually still a bit of a guilt feeling leftover.
Reason 5: I worry about not eating enough. I do tend to eat more while training and it helps to a degree with eating issues, but I still do not eat enough. I think I read somewhere that something like 50% or more of female runners do not eat enough. Sounds about right to me.
Reason 6 tied in with number 4, I do fear a risk of lapsing back where I have been. Without any treatment team set up at all, I think it could be detrimental to any progress I've made thus far.
These are the main reasons not to join the training group, This doesn't mean that in the future I cannot join, but just that I think I need to give myself some time to feel a little more comfortable with a new setting, a new house, a new job, etc. Though I worry about the socialization aspect of things, it just means I have to work a little harder. I do think that if I do not put myself out there within a relatively short period of time, depression and isolation can easily follow. And I'm trying really hard to not to let that happen.
So for now, I am sticking with my walks with the dogs and a few short runs, nothing major. The walking is mostly with my clients' dogs, but I do walk my own dogs as well. With Tovah, I am doing some running/walking with her since she just has SO much energy, and without playing at the kennel all day like she used to, she just seems to be my WILD child. (It's a good thing her buddy Betty is coming for a slumber party tomorrow) It's good for me, because I do not push her too much due to her young age. By thinking about her and her own joints/muscles, it gives me perspective on what is healthy. (kind of like this post about the importance of fat)
Thinking through this reminds me of how I could cognitively cogitate through this process. Before, I'd probably would have just jumped on the running bandwagon, then regretted it, but would have felt unable to back out of it. I guess this is just another brick added to the my layer of recovery. :-)
I hope any of you who may be going through a similar ordeal can look at all perspectives and decide for yourself what is best. And if not, then as commenter M said in a recent Carrie post on "enough" exercise: "It sounds like plenty of qualified people who know you and your health history are willing to define "enough" for you ... but maybe you don't really like the answer, so you're waiting for a better one..." (M. hope you don't mind me calling you out, but this was a great comment, and I think a lot of people can relate)