I'm still struggling to get back into healthy habits after a too-long holiday break. But I have been running and that's a start.
As I plodded along on the treadmill the other day, I realized I really wanted to take a break. I fought this urge, calling back to all the tough-guy mantras about "no pain, no gain" and "pain is weakness leaving the body," and all the things you might repeat to yourself to make sure you can stay on your feet long enough to complete a 10K, for example. I remembered my 30-minute run from just the other day, and how proud I was to complete it after such a long break.
And then I realized how foolish I was being. I slowed down, walked for a few minutes, and then started running again. In the end, I still ran the same amount, but I was exercising for longer because of the walk breaks. I was less physically and mentally beat at the end, and the whole experience seemed more positive to me.
And yet, the next workout, I fought with the exact same urges.
It's just simple pride, wanting to prove I can tough it out. The truth is, right now, it's much more important that I simply stay active than that I "prove" to anyone (especially since nobody is watching me!) that I can run like I was running three to four months ago.
So for a little while at least, walk breaks are going to be a part of my routine.
I just wish they didn't feel like cheating.