For a moment, I feel like a fraud in my “Runner” sweatshirt as I set off on my walk around my adopted home of Budapest for perhaps the last time before heading back to the U.S. for the next six months. I have intentionally put on my walking shoes that I can’t run in (unless it is to catch the tram). I have no interest in running today. I haven’t for about a week. But I don’t want the guilt of being outside, in running-ish clothing, to push me to run when my mind and body are telling me to take a break.
I did want to run just a week ago, running up a mountain in Obuda on a whim, running around Budapest like a kid in a candy store. And, perhaps, I will feel the need to run again when I am back in the States, in the middle of another amazing, but stressful semester. I just don’t want to run now, even after I’ve finally found the “perfect” training plan.
Two years ago, this lack of motivation to run would have sent me into an emotional tailspin. “I don’t even want to run!” “What does this mean about my identity as a runner?!” “Who am I even?” And, worse, those echoes of my demons: “Oh no! If I don’t run, I’ll gain #alltheweight!” “How do I eat when I’m not running?!”