Every time I think about the current state of my relationship with running, I go straight to Ross and Rachel. I mentioned last week that I had decided not to train for our local spring half-marathon. I mentioned very briefly that I was struggling with running. But I think I want to talk about it a little more.
For the last several years, running has been my power. Running fed me - physically, socially, emotionally, and financially to some degree. Running was my sweet spot. Where I felt at home. Where I could go when nothing else made sense.
But as I lost focus on my health over the last year, my running suffered. I backed out of a fall marathon. I suffered through a fall half. I wasn't able to hit my old paces or my old distances.
Something that for so long gave me energy was instead sucking it from me.
Something that gave me strength became my weakness.
But I was stubborn. And for months, I ran unhappy. I often cried in the shower after runs because I was so disappointed in all of it. And it was terrible.
Two weeks ago, I decided I was done. I was struggling on a 3 mile run. And I was just done. I went home and sent a few emails to prepare for my decision to not run the half-marathon. (I was pacing the race.) The weight lifted off of me was amazing.
I don't think that running is gone from my life. At all. I have three cardio workouts a week and my intention (weather-permitting) is for a minimum of one but preferably two of those to be runs. But runs where I don't look at my Garmin or even leave it at home. Runs for the sake of running, not for distance or pace. Just runs.
I have no training plan. I have no race. I am just running.
This past Saturday, I met my typical running friends for a run. My girls and Nathan went off in one direction and I went the other. I ran a mile to a hill I have always hated. I did hill sprints (my workout plan called for intervals). And then I ran back. It was an out-of-season beautiful day. I was feeling strong. So I just kept running. I don't know what my pace was. All I know is that I ran HARD on those hill sprints. I didn't walk as much as I have been. And it felt fantastic.
I know I will get back to running. I know that I will be a fantastic runner again. I know I am building the best runner that I have ever been.
I am not done running. We are just on a break.