Getting My Groove Back

BJ UCP Half Marathon Shirt 2013

Last year, I worked pretty hard to train for a half-marathon. I hurt my hip (#StupidBursitis) in late July, kept trying to power through it in August, and finally went to the doctor and was sidelined by September. It sucked because I was only a month or so away from my race. I had already registered, though, so I did go pick up my shirt as a consolation prize. I had paid for it, after all.

But I’m better now, a bit smarter, and I’m planning on running the race this year. This year, I won’t just pay for the shirt. I’ll earn it, too.

I’m scared of it, honestly, because I’m behind where I was last year. I’m up to running 5.5 miles a session as of this writing, when last year, I was already up to 7. That’s not a big deal. Even taking it slow and only adding a half-mile to my longer runs each week, I’ll be able to easily work up to running 13.1 miles by October 25th.

I’m excited, though. It was so devastating last year not to be able to run between September and May that I went through a pretty hardcore bout of depression. I hadn’t realized just how much running was my stress-relief and how much I relied on it for my mental well-being. I’m still working through that and some anxiety on a number of things, but honestly, being able to get back outside and run in the sunshine has helped me more than I ever thought possible.

On top of that, I’d really like to start helping people learn to run and love it like I do. I taught myself how to run through an amazing amount of reading and research. Lately, I realized that I really know how to do two things: write and run. There has to be a living in there somewhere, right?

I’ve got a trainer certification, so why can’t I? I’m looking into running coach certs specifically right now just for paperwork to back up my own experience and research, and I figure the more races under my belt, the more attractive to clients I’ll be. As though my weight loss isn’t enough. #humblebrag

Over the winter, I gained weight (only about 10lbs, which is gone now), I stopped updating the blog which I majorly regret, and even though I tried cycling and all kinds of other activities, nothing could replace or even mimic the benefits I got from running.

So now, with the summer almost finished, I’m finally back in the groove. I started going to the gym with my buddy a few days ago–going again tomorrow–so that I can maintain a decent bit of lean muscle and not lose too much of it from the increased mileage that will be coming soon.

I just have to be careful. As much as I love deadlifts and squatting, I may not be doing as much as I want. Those movements put so much strain on my hips that I don’t want to overload and injure myself again. I’ll just be the lightweight in the squat rack or Smith Machine, but at least I’ll be there.

And in the end, that’s what matters. Injury and depression are awful. They took the wind right out of my sails, and as my summer break starts its inevitable sprint toward the fall semester, I feel like I’m finally about to set sail again.

It’s about time.


B.J. Keeton

B.J. Keeton

B.J. is a geek, gamer, podcaster, and livestreamer. He has been the co-host of the Geek to Geek podcast since 2016, and he helped start the Geek to Geek Media Network. His biggest pet peeve is when someone spells Wookiee with only one E. One time, he told his friends he liked vegetables maybe more than he did Star Wars, and they made him put a dollar in the jar. That should tell you everything you need to know about him. Find him on Twitter as @professorbeej or on Discord as @professorbeej#1337.

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  1. rowan

    At what point during your original weight loss did you start running? I’ve been walking, but it’s not really giving me the results I would like. On the other hand, I have plantar fasciitis that I don’t want to aggravate, not to mention the fear of what high impact running will do to my joints at my current weight.

    • B.J. Keeton

      For me, it was at about 220 pounds, and I had terrible knees with inflammation issues. I popped some ibuprofen and got really cushioned shoes, and it worked well for me to start very slowly. I was also cycling from about 240 down to 220, and that helped a great deal in terms of getting my body used to the strain. I was also walking, like you mentioned, and made sure to do a good warmup and cooldown. Some days when I started I might only be able to run a couple minutes, but it was steady enough I started making progress as long as I was careful with myself.

  2. Longasc

    I wish you better luck this time!
    Running here is a bit odd these days, either it’s super hot or raining so I mostly had to run very late, almost night.

    • B.J. Keeton

      It’s the same here. I’m taking a few good runs where I can and fitting them in between mega-humid days and hoping I can go a solid week without a morning being rained out. The forecast this week is showing rain on Saturday, which is going to be my long run this week. So we’ll see how it goes.

    • B.J. Keeton

      Thanks! I’m excited about it, too. So many months of being off has made getting back to it even sweeter.

  3. Healthy Geek Mike

    Hey BJ…I’m back in action this week too! Went for my first run in over a month…too much running…too fast can really kill the calf muscles!

    Looking forward to hearing more from you…

    • B.J. Keeton

      I did that when I first started running after my injury. I thought I could run much farther than I could based on where I had been. It was exhilerating, but I was not prepared for the soreness that came afterward!

      What matters is you got back out there, though! Now you know what not to do, so surely the next one won’t be as painful. 🙂

      • Mike

        Thanks for the reply BJ!

        The funny thing is I’ve never lost the drive to run, but almost gave up during my recovery a couple times…it wasn’t easy…but I’m back!


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