That's not a good sign. When you are standing in the cold at 8 in the morning, you should want to be there.
When you have paid money to wake up early and run through slushy trails, you should be happy about it.
|Post-race - the resigned smile. "Can we go home, please?"|
Running is a cruel mistress. Some days it feels phenomenal, and other times it sucks. That's how it goes, and I accept that. But in December, something switched in me. I realized that I was HATING 95% of my runs. I was - and still am, occasionally- treating the act of running as some kind of punishment.
Overate a bunch of crap? Go for a long run. Extra miles.
Got in a fight with the husband? Sprints. Lung burn to make up for stupid crap you said.
Overwhelmed with work? Tempo run. Focus on the splits rather than how to deal with work problems.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with running as a way to lose weight, relieve stress or think through relationship problems. But I was treating it as a way to punish myself, in a weird way. A hard run made up for other areas of my life that I needed to improve. In many cases, it is easier to hop on the treadmill and push yourself to a faster pace than it it is email with a frustrating client at work, or apologize to my husband, or maybe not eat giant bags of candy while binge-watching reality television. (That last part has a place in every healthy lifestyle, however. Just not every day.)
The Pigtails Flat Ass race, which turned into a marathon for me rather than a 50k, was miserable. I came in at 4:23:45, which was good enough for 5th woman overall in the very, very small field of runners. I met my patient husband, got my cute plastic pig medal and stomped immediately to the car. I was not happy. Not with the time, not with the experience, not with 5th place. It wasn't fun.
So I stopped running.
At first, it was just a few days to recover. Then it was purposefully taking off until the New Year and really enjoying the holidays. Then, it was more than that. I was actively NOT running. After a few weeks, the desire came back, and I began to run a little more. Now, I've been running 2-4 times each week. No rush, no speedwork, not even always a Garmin. I'm not training for anything, I take walk breaks when I feel like it and I have no problem with skipping a few days just because.
It's probably anti-inspirational to say, "Look at me! I run less, and do it even slower than before!" I just feel like it's something that is okay to say. Contrary to what running blogs might imply, you don't have to run marathons, or compete in 5ks, or even run all that much to still be considered a runner.
I have no races on the calendar - and I'm a runner.
I stopped using Daily Mile - and I'm a runner.
I only wear my Garmin 50% of the time - and I'm a runner.
I don't take sweaty selfies at the completion of each run - and I'm a runner.
I take walk breaks - and I'm a runner.
Running, for the most part, is supposed to be fun. If it's not, you might be doing it wrong.