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My Running Story: Part Two

In the year since I quit running, I’ve received a high number of emails and blog comments from readers wanting to know if I’ll ever go back to it in the future.

While I’d initially been one of those people no one believes because they insist they really do love running, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever want to run again after having burned out from logging eight or nine miles at least every other day without a single break in over five years. Upon quitting, the passion to run remained very much absent from July until spring of the following year.

(Especially in February, my sole desire was to burrow under a ginormous sea of blankets on the couch watching Netflix.)

Then, one cool afternoon in March, I felt it…

Washington DC

The desire to run.

I ran a grand total of ten minutes that day and felt no need to run again for another month afterward. And now I think I’ve found a good balance, running only when I want to do so, which usually translates to a few times a week, for about an hour each time. There aren’t plans to increase this amount, nor is there any guilt whatsoever if the desire goes away (as it sometimes does) and I don’t run at all for weeks at a time.

Georgetown Bridge

The White House

Thus, I’ve rediscovered my love of running.

It definitely helps when, instead of oppressive Texas heat and cookie-cutter suburban houses, my routes now take me past wildlife, waterfalls, and American history books come to life. All of the photos in this post were taken while running.

The Potomac

People have asked if I’m ever worried the obsession might come back.

But my answer is a confident and emphatic “no.” I remember what my life was like before; I remember the stress involved in planning every run and worrying how I could fit it in on vacation or during bouts of inclement weather. I remember my drawn appearance and the lack of energy and motivation I felt for any activities unrelated to running. And I know what my life is like now—so much richer and more vibrant than before.

There’s no desire to ever go back.

 

 

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Published on September 5, 2014

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Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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76 Comments

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  1. [email protected]'s mum says

    Lovely to hear you have found a balance with running. I’ve recently just started – not a lot, just half an hour 2/3 times a week. I find it’s a great way to switch off. Your blog is great, I’ve already tried out a couple of recipes! x

  2. J Mauss says

    You are a brave soul to put up a picture of yourself and tell the story of your life. Thank you for being open and honest, especially when you don’t owe it to anyone. A life in balance is what we all hope & strive for, thank you for sharing your heart in all your recipes!

  3. Steph says

    That is a true love of running right there- it’s all too easy to become obsessed. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to run for 2 months now and you don’t really know how much you love something until it’s gone!
    Wonderful post Katie, you really are such a wonderful role model for girls like me everywhere! 😀

  4. Katie says

    I love this, and read your post about quitting running. I’ve been a runner for 15 yrs and 2 yrs ago got really obsessed in a way where I was running 9 or 10 miles a day. I got extremely thin and it ran my life. Ha. Ran. Anyway, it was starting to control everything and I began to lose the joy in running. Although I never completely stopped,I cut back, relaxed and realized there is more to life. I’ve gained weight back but am so much more comfortable with my body and I don’t look at running as a chore anymore, but a joy! Thanks for being awesome fellow Katie!

  5. Rita says

    “All of the photos in this post were taken while running.” You must have the most AWESOME camera! Not even a tiny bit blurry. 🙂
    Thank you for the chocolate cake recipe! My birthday’s on Saturday, and I was trying to find a good recipe that would match the one on the side of the Swan Cake Flour box. (It’s SO chocolaty!) This sounds like it might fit the bill.

  6. Samantha says

    Hi Katie! I have a similar story to yours – I was OBSESSED with running and working out in HS and the beginning of college. I would have tons of anxiety if I thought I wasn’t going to be able to run and I would feel “fat” the next day if I had missed a workout. It wasn’t healthy at all, even though I really did enjoy some parts of running. I stopped running for a few years and started up again about a year ago. Instead of my super long 6-8 mile daily runs, I usually only run for 2-4 miles now and if I am tired and feel like walking for a minute or I want to take a picture of a pretty part of the trail, I don’t feel guilty or “bad” for stopping. I’m fine if I miss a day (or a week) and I am much healthier about it. I think a big part of it was maturity (I’m in my mid-twenties now) and also having much more self-confidence/self-love than when I was 16-18!

  7. Corinne says

    I just stumbled upon your blog today from a recipe link and have been clicking around. Thank you so much for sharing your fitness stories! I’ve been in a fitness “rut” for a while as I haven’t had the motivation to do my normal work out routines. Along with this has come some guilt. I honestly think I’ve experienced a similar burnout from obsession. Sometimes I have to remind myself it’s okay not to exercise when you don’t want to! I’m re-training myself to be more intuitive. It seems that you’ve “gotten it” and I’m hoping these guilt waves will ebb as I learn to live without my “crutch”.

  8. Lindsey says

    I love this post! I love that you got to the place where you could take a step back without the guilt. Exercise is meant to make us healthy, not control us. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Audrey says

    Thank you for posting this! I have suffered (diagnosed) from anorexia since I was 13, and have permanent damage because of it now. I’m 21 (celebrating two years of not being underweight or in the hospital for organ failure) with osteoporosis in the lumbar spine, trouble maintaining a normal temp., and I can never drink or be around people smoking due to weak organs and a weak heart. I would not wish this disease on anyone, and Katie’s willingness to gain weight and maintain it is not something seen in people with eating disorders. Orthorexia (an eating disorder characterized by excessive exercise and fixation on “good” and “bad” food), is very hard to treat and her ability to keep her exercise in moderation and not go back to extreme and, yes, unhealthy ways supports that Katie does not have an eating disorder. Katie, I know people’s words can be hurtful, but you blog is a healthy blog and I have never been triggered (felt a strong desire to engage in ED behavior) by it. Sometimes people feel the need to put others down in order to feel better about themselves.

  10. Jessica says

    I think you are just lucky! If I quit running or exercising I would be a blimp. I don’t have that choice : ( Your recipes look amazing!

  11. Erica says

    I love this! I first discovered my love for running in college (I haaaaated it, or at least thought I did, before) and was a pretty dedicated runner for a couple years. I ran a marathon after the first year or so. Then eventually it all started to become more of a chore and source of stress than a stress reliever. I’d feel so guilty if I didn’t run. In the last few months I’ve given it up almost completely! Especially in the cold winter months. I’m looking forward to the spring, to be able to just go out for a run because I feel like it, and if I don’t, I won’t. Glad to know other people feel the same way. It’s supposed to be something that brings you joy! I’m glad you’ve found yours!

  12. EngineerMom says

    First off, I love reading another healthy food-lover’s take on recipes, thank you for the time and energy you pour into this blog.

    I have found this blog helpful for menu-planning, and was poking around learning more about Katie, and ended up here.

    It bothers me to see someone so public talk about “staying fit” by the occasional run and regular walking, when the reality is, Katie, you hit the genetic jackpot. Your body loses weight when stressed – that’s actually not typical, most stress hormones cause people, especially women, to gain weight. You have a naturally lean physique – your walking and lifting keep your muscles and bones strong, but they contribute nothing to your natural bone and muscle length.

    As someone who hit a different jackpot (naturally strong muscles and bones, good skin, beautiful nails, intelligent, long at 5’9″ but certainly not “lean”, with a body that holds on to weight when stressed and drops it when happy), it’s frustrating to see a public figure attribute her physical appearance to things within her control when it’s not – you eat well, you take care of that beautiful body, and you are certainly more than just your physical appearance, but please stop repeating the lie that with a different genetic background, your diet and exercise routine would give the same results.

  13. Tara L Conklin says

    HI Katie, you may have already answered this but what exercises do you do regularly now that you’re not running. Do you have a routine, certain exercises that just “do” it for you. I have such a hard time reconciling the recipes (albeit healthy) with how healthy you are and fit. I won’t lie, I’m a sugar addict and am trying very hard to break the habit. I’m vowing to cook NO other desserts but those on your site for awhile until me and my family are on track to better eating. I’m turning 46 this year and want to get in the best shape of my life and be healthier than I’ve ever been. Would love to know your daily diet and exercise.
    Thanks Katie!

    5/5

    5/5

  14. Anne-Marie says

    Hello! As a girl recovering from an eating/exercise disorder, I found this post incredibly comforting. I haven’t run since my third, and hopefully last, hospitalization, and I’ve been dreading this year’s track season. I used to love running, but it spiraled into something unsustainable, at least for now. Knowing that there are people who have successfully distanced themselves from running, and come to love it again, comforts me enormously. Thank you for sharing your personal struggles.

  15. LeNae says

    Thank you for sharing your Running Story. I can relate, I dealt with the same unhealthy obsession with running and exercise. I am much more balanced in my running and exercise routine now. Reading your blog and your journey has been such an inspiration for me and of course, has given me many tasty recipes!

  16. lisa says

    Katie – i can speak for me and many others what a beautiful and fun blog you have here. many of your recipes are in my rotation but i don’t always post that . that Anon was very rude and i’m glad you have the support of everyone who enjoys your blog as much as i do. thanks for sharing your knowledge with us all. you’re adorable~ 🙂

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