When I first started racing, it was exciting. It was fun. I couldn’t stop myself from signing up for things on a whim. There was fire. My first race ever was the Sprint Triathlon in September of 2013. Since then according to Athlinks, I’ve run 42 races. Considering I have only done 2 races this year, that comes to a lot of races in such a short period of time. This year, I only have a few races on the calendar which I am enjoying.
When I first started running, I had something to prove to myself. It was a challenge. It was fun. I had my running race buddies. I couldn’t stop. Then I did. Now it was time to reevaluate and regroup. I have different reasons for running now. I am in a different place. As said before, I know that the reason I want to run Chicago is just to run it to prove that I can.
I was talking to someone who deferred a big race. She was coming back from an injury, but originally thought that she would push through to train. She then realized that she was planning on pushing through her injury for a race that she no longer really felt like running. The desire just wasn’t there. We get to a point where we have to start questioning why we are doing the things we are doing and what would happen if we didn’t do them. She had nothing to prove to herself. She also realized that her heart just wasn’t in it. Once her decision was made, she felt relief.
Often subconsciously we know what we need to do and even the reasons why, but for some reason we feel like we just need to keep doing the same thing. We feel like we would be a quitter. Like somehow we are a failure when the reality could not be further from the truth. Sometimes stepping back and being true to ourselves is so much braver than soldiering through. Unknowingly we fall into patterns of doing thing because we think that we should do them. We think we will disappoint others or just because we don’t want to have to think about why we are feeling that way. Sometimes we can’t even explain it to ourselves.
I always say honestly is the best policy. Those that know me personally know that they shouldn’t ask me a question if they do not want an upfront and honest answer. Being honest with ourselves is just as important. We put too much pressure on ourselves not just with our running but life in general As with life, sometimes in our running we have to step back to evaluate our motives and desires as they can change over time without us even realizing it. What was once a driving force may no longer ring true to us anymore. And sometimes you have to ask the hard questions. You know just what to ask too. Only you have the answers, but you need to allow yourself time to find them.
My one piece of advice to you – No matter what make sure that you are still having fun! I don’t mean that you should laugh your way through your training, but just make sure it doesn’t become a job. Running is a great stress relief and we all have so much on our plates that running should be something that gets us away from it all and shouldn’t feel like something we have to do:)
One thing that I have noticed these last few months is that I am content not to be on such a tight race schedule. Always training. Always planning. As much as I enjoyed the hard training that I put in and running the races, I can honestly say that I am happy where I am in my training. I am content to sit on the couch a little longer in the morning. I am putting in the miles that I will need to be ready for Chicago, but I am not consumed by my training. I am flexible. The fire still burns but maybe right now it’s not as hot. When and if the time comes, I can always turn up the flame. I know part of it comes from knowing that I am not chasing a time, but running for me and what more can I ask for?