I Love Running (Again)!
I was never the kid who loved running. For example, I badly wanted to love soccer, but I hated running. Kind of doesn’t work. It is exactly why softball was perfect for me. Little running and still a great game of athleticism! I never saw running as fun and could not understand why anyone did it as a sport. Then, during a transitional period in my life, I decided to do a triathlon. You know, you kind of have to like running (at least a little) for that, so I set off on a mission to learn to like running. What followed, were years of a love/hate relationship with running. It didn’t come easy; I am slow and steady…better at the long run, than the short run. I fought through more injuries than I can keep track of, but at the end of the day, running did something for me that nothing else every did. It gave me peace. It was an escape. Even when I hated running, I loved what running did for me. I went on to run many races of all distances and even completed a marathon. Then, I broke my foot and went through some personal drama and I stopped running. It took me a full year to race again and another year to really get back on track completely with my running. But starting over, was really starting over. I had to find my focus and my way back to that peace. (Some of you went through all of that with me but if you are new, you can read all about that journey over at Finishing is Winning.)
I got back into it pretty hardcore through last fall and this past winter but then committed the fatal mistake. I ALWAYS do this. I went too hard, too fast and then got off track and stopped again. Focused too much on racing and being fast and comparing myself to others and you know what, that isn’t fun! I had an interesting and eye-opening conversation with my sports chiropractor back in late winter. He said to me, “Why not just work out? Why do you have to be racing? Just have fun with it for a while and when people ask what you do, you just say ‘I work out’.” And you know what, it made perfect sense.
It has been a few months since that conversation and I really took it to heart. If I wanted to lift, I lifted. If I wanted to bike, I took a spin class. And…if I wanted to run, I ran. Not always far and definitely not fast, but I ran.
It started mattering again and you know what, I got better.
For so long, I was tied up in times, splits and racing. I was feeling like I wasn’t good enough or fast enough and it did nothing for my self esteem. Eventually, running wasn’t fun.
It has taken close to two years, but I finally found that peace. I have a whole new energy about running again. The other day, during a simple and quick 2 mile run, I thought to myself, “wow, I have missed this. I love this.” I haven’t felt this good in so long. For too long, running made me sad because it reminded me of all the things that hurt me. It had went from something I loved to something that represented all the wrong things. It took too long, but once I was able to regain my focus and let those feelings go, I was also able to see how happy running makes me. And as it seems, when I run happy, I also run well.
Now, running is fun again!
As I head into a training schedule for my fall half-marathon, I am trying to be smart, keep it fun and stay focused on all the wonderful things running does for me. I need a schedule when I race; a way to keep myself on track and accountable. This time though, I am starting way early enough to work myself into a pattern of running. Currently all my runs are short, but they are quality. Come time to start the schedule, I will be more than ready to up the mileage and challenge myself with speed. I have my confidence back and there is nothing better than a confident runner, no matter how slow you go!
Running is fun again.
I really do love running!