I feel like me and running still have some issues to work out. It hasn’t always been a pretty process, but even though I refused to admit it at first, I’ve been slowly accepting that my relationship with running hasn’t always been the healthiest. If you would have asked me, even at the height of my competitiveness, whether I defined myself by running success and I would have scoffed, “of course not!” But that would have been a dirty, dirty lie!
Sure, I’m no pro and I probably couldn’t be one even if I sacrificed my life to the endeavor. Running was never going to pay my bills and really I had no business throwing so much stock into my running performances. But I did. In fact, running was just one more arena in which I could overachieve. More trophies, faster PRs, better person! Duh!
I’ve been dancing to this tune since I was a toddler, always trying to outdo everyone and get praise. Running was just another song and I really liked that the beat was complicated and didn’t come easy to me. In my pursuit of running success I put into practice concepts I previously learned the hard way. After struggling in college, I finally realized that to get good grades in some classes that I had to do more than show up and turn things in; I might have to spend hours practicing and studying to understand something! This concept completely changed my life. It not only helped me get almost all A’s as I finished up my undergraduate degree, but it shot me to the top of my law school class and through my career.
Meanwhile, it helped me realize that running fast was not just something most fast people woke up able to do. Yes! Work hard. Be patient. Results will follow. And they did! For a while.
But then I had a kid, and another and then another. Pregnancy, extended nursing and aging are hard on a body and suddenly this formula of working hard over an extended period of time was not only not working, but it was completely back-firing on me. It injured me. It depleted me. It overtrained me. Running success beyond what I’ve achieved as of today, may never happen. The question is, where does running stand in my life if it’s not there to prove I’m valuable to myself?
So there it is. It’s a little embarrassing and a little over-simplified, but that’s basically where things stand.
Mon: Off. Tired.
Tue: a.m. 6.75 with my friend Julie. I cannot express how awesome my running dates with Julie are! p.m. 45:00 kettlebells class.
Wed: 7.25 on my own. Feeling a little tired again. Wondering if hard strength training is too much for me, if it’s just a coincidence or what.
Thu: 7 miles with the single stroller. Didn’t sleep great. Oh no! Am I triggering an overtraining response?
Fri: Last day with just one kid so even though I didn’t sleep great we went to one of my favorite places to run 8. We had a blast and I’m glad we did it! Felt ok running.
Sat: off. Slept in and felt heavy. Readjusting my expectations yet again. Could not fall asleep this night. Worried about Sunday’s early run and petrified of overtraining returning!
Sun: 12 with my friend Mina. Another of my favorite dates! Ran about 8:45 pace for 12 miles mostly on trails. Was a little tired the rest of the day, but not too bad. Fingers crossed I’d feel better next week!
Total: 40 miles and 45:00 strength class.