I was a smoker when I ran my first half marathon. I was a smoker when I completed my first triathlon. I was a smoker who was not only an athlete, but a personal trainer and group exercise instructor as well! I always WANTED to quit, but I really thought since I was pretty fit and able to do all these things, maybe it wasn't SO bad for me!?!
Reasons to quit kept piling up but I was really afraid. I thought smoking was keeping me "sane". Little did I know, it was the thing that was making me crazy.
It took awhile to see the benefits of quitting in my athletic performance, but now that I'm more than four months free, I'm noticing that it's all so much easier! I am faster, stronger, and I have way more endurance. My heart rate is lower and I recover faster from bursts of high intensity. The wind doesn't bother me as much anymore!! Wind used to be The Thing that would stop me. Not anymore!!
In my activity here, I met another soul who loves running maybe even more than I do-- Jdeering! He is having a similar experience: There is so much joy in breaking the plateau once you've really gotten into your quit! Once you start to feel that, I can't imagine a trigger that could make you go back!!
So...any other athletes out there? Feel free to chat with us here! ♀