Over the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling with running. I haven’t tried to hide it because it really has been a struggle within myself. Running has always been an avenue for me to cope with life and what life throws at me. With other major events, my running seemed to ramp up and I focused on serious running goals. After the 2011 storms, I spent the next year knocking out major PRs and signing up for race after race. But after our sad news in August, I had a big slump with running. Physically, I couldn’t wait to FEEL better so I could run again. But once I got the clearance from my doctor, running just didn’t work like it has in the past. I know now its because I can’t hide from the emotions and feelings when my legs are moving and I’m physically pushing myself. I was able to put on the happy front at work and home, but running won’t let me put up a front. Only in the past 3 or so weeks have I slowly pulled myself out of the biggest obstacle in my running life of 8 years.
Right now, it’s not necessarily about a PR at a goal race, although I do have a major race in 3 days and I have never been so ill prepared for a race. Right now, I’m focused on just falling in love with running all over again. How am I doing that?
- I am putting that running playlist on “shuffle” so the old OLD songs from the very first days of running ing 2005 show up. Everybody knows “Lose Yourself”. When I hear those first beats, I can’t stop the happy memories of my glory days.
- I’m going back to some old routes. We moved a few months after I started running. My first steps were at a local park. It’s been a few years since I took some turns around that track. Those miles with those old songs have been the happiest miles.
- I’m getting back to heart rate training. It is the only tangible way I can keep myself running healthy without getting injured or frustrated or worse…burned out permanently.
- Wearing those old shirts. When I first started running, I had no idea what tech gear was or why I needed it. Now I have a closet full of wicking fabrics that feel like a second skin. But putting on my BAMA tshirt that I ran so many early miles wearing…it’s like putting on the letter jacket from high school. I did a lot more smiling than crying when I wore that shirt.
It’s going to be a better month, this November. I have my focus back. I have some excitement back. I have goals..like just finishing the Half-Marathon on 2 legs and still breathing. After that race, I’ll know my starting point for spring training. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a “bad” race, if you use finish time as the only measure.
I’m getting back to the reason for running. I’m getting back to me.