I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve always been the type of person to overthink and overanalyze things.
When I first started eating a vegan diet, I drove myself crazy researching all of the combinations of food I would need to eat in order to get in all the vital nutrients and vitamins. I spent tons of money at the grocery store on organic ingredients and “superfoods” and then would spend hours in the kitchen creating these complicated vegan recipes that would often turn out to be disappointing failures.
I was frustrated – and hungry!
I finally decided that I was overcomplicating things. So I started eating a lot of salads, baked potatoes, frozen veggies, canned beans, nuts, seeds, etc. I was no longer hungry and I felt healthy and energetic. Don’t get me wrong – I still cook vegan recipes, but they are recipes that use simple ingredients, stuff that can easily be found at any grocery store, and cooking has become fun and rewarding again. I have a few go-to websites with delicious, healthy, simple-to-prepare recipes, and I’ve even started experimenting with creating my own recipes.
The same can be said about my running journey. When I started running, I got all caught up in all kinds of stuff: what kind of shoes should I wear? Why do I run so slow? What is this pain I feel? What should I eat? What should I drink? What the heck is a fartlek? Should I be doing tempo runs?
And then I’d start to get overwhelmed and think that I could never be a runner because I just didn’t get all the terminology and I just didn’t think I was good enough.
So I decided to just follow my own running plan. I started running for 15 minutes 3-4 times a week and then would add on another minute to my run every week. Before long, I was running a 5k with no problem. I was loving running; it wasn’t this impossible task that I had to overcome.
I’ve achieved some pretty amazing running achievements that I’m really proud of over this past summer: I ran a 7-mile race and then a month later, I ran a half-marathon. And I’m going to run another half-marathon in a few weeks. But every now and then, I find myself starting to overthink things. I start obsessing about my pace time, or about what pre- or post-run things I should be eating or drinking. That’s when I take a day or two off of running. Then, I head out for a run with no Garmin watch or mileage goal. I just run. For fun. For the sheer enjoyment of feeling my legs moving, my feet hitting the pavement, and feeling the breeze and sun hit my face.
If I had a nickle for every time I heard, “Eating vegan? I could never do that. It sounds too hard.” or “I could never run. I’m too out of shape”, I’d own every pair of running shoes that’s currently on the market!
It’s not hard, you’re just overthinking. Keep it simple and just do it.