This is a fucking hard one, y’all. Mostly because I don’t know what the fuck is going on.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I have a sense of what’s going on, what I don’t know is what it stems from. What I do know is that running isn’t fun for me anymore. Or, well, it is but very sporadically. Sunday’s 10K? Those 6.2 miles were the only miles I ran for the entire month of May and I didn’t even run them, I walked them.
I know that running isn’t fun for me right now and hasn’t been for awhile. I know that running feels like a punishment. I know I dread runs. I know that dread has paralyzed me and seeped into other forms of exercise so even a simple walk at lunchtime feels like a monumental accomplishment.
I know that right now, at this moment in time, I would be perfectly content never going on another run ever again.
And yet …..
And yet I hang out with my fellow Ambassadors and I remember at one point loving running. I remember the excitement and anticipation of race day. I remember feeling fast and furious, even when running at my slow back of the pack speed.
And yet I hang out at the Expo and see races I’d love to run (I’m looking at you Rock City 5K and Christmas Story Run). I remember the feeling that came from training and completing three half-marathons.
(Honestly, I’m in such a negative place right now about this that I forget I’m a three time half-marathoner. It seems like such a foreign concept to me at this point in time).
I will be the first to admit that some of this is because I’ve gained weight from last year and that’s slowed me down which, naturally, frustrates this already slow runner. I also think #anklegate set me back way more than I realized. Not just physically but mentally as well. Because this is 100% a mental block. Physically, yes, had I stuck to my training and not slacked for the past four weeks I could have done my run/walk thing and been fine. Fuck, I ran 4 miles at the end of April and felt fantastic.
I also know I don’t entirely trust my ankle and have a fear of reinjuring myself. So that, of course, makes me less likely to want to go out for a mile run, let alone anything longer.
I don’t know but I wonder how much of this is also depression related. Actually, losing interest in things is a pretty classic sign of depression but I’m one of those people with high-functioning depression so it’s always hard to classify myself as such because I’m not sad and can still function and fake it til I make it (or fall apart, as the case may be).
I lost my running groove a year ago and I am still struggling to get it back. And, in the meantime, I find myself …. not hating, but severely disliking, this activity that just a year ago I had loved. I had loved it so much that I signed up for a 4th half. I had hoped to run Akron in 2017 to make up for having to miss it last year but right now I am not in a healthy place mentally to tackle training or a half-marathon.
And yet ….. one of my fellow Ambassadors mentioned running the Cleveland Half in 2018 and I’m like “Yeah, I could totally do that, too!”
LIKE I SAID. IT’S COMPLICATED.
Even just in the days since I started writing this post my feelings have gone back and forth. One day I’m perfectly happy never running again and another the idea of never crossing a finish line again breaks my heart.
I am legitimately sitting here thinking “Ugh, running. Why would I do that to myself? But, yeah, running a half marathon a year from now? Totally doable.”
I think my attitude towards running is symptomatic of other things in my life so, more than anything, I need to take some time to figure out what that shit is all about and not worry so much about the running portion. Actually, I think lots of things going on in my life are symptomatic of other things and I need to really dig deep and start to identify and address some of them. I know that in many areas of my life I’m not where I want to be and I’ve let certain areas run away from me and I need to refocus and reign them in.
A few weeks ago I was trying to explain this all to my therapist, who is not a runner, and kept asking “Do you actually like running?” And I do, some of the time. But I was explaining that the first mile always sucks no matter who you are. THE FIRST MILE IS THE WORST. So when you are just getting back into it and can’t run very far, then all you’re doing is one mile runs which means every run is awful. It’s a whole mental thing I realize but it’s that negative reinforcement that I need to work through.
Right. So, well, that’s where I am with this right now. Basically going in circles and having a very, very complicated relationship with running right now.
Love from the ashes,