I’ve been running consistently for 17 years. I joined my high school cross country team as a sophomore after being persuaded by my best friend and our coach. Right off the bat I was a head case runner. I would start getting nervous about cross country meets that were on Saturday four days prior. And we had meets every Saturday. That’s a lot of days of the week spent being nervous. I was always a decent runner, but nothing special. I quit the cheerleading team my junior year because running was so much more important and I didn’t want to deal with both. If you know me though, you know I like to be a cheerleader, so that was kind of a big deal. Point is, running has been a huge part of my life for a really long time.
I remember my last meet in high school, it was the state meet, I was there because as a team we made it there, not because I would have made it individually. I was usually the number 4, 5 or 6 runner on our team. I sort of gave up in the race that day, I ran “hard” but I was checked out. I was so happy to be done with racing because it stressed me out so much and I was tired of always being nervous. I think this is relative to running marathons, even as a 32 year old now. I know a few people who are really good at running and training hard for a season and then taking a well earned, deserved and needed break. Back then for me, it was more mental. At this point in my life it’s both mental and physical. 30 + man, gotta be kind to the body.
So after high school, I ran recreationally in college, I ran consistently– probably 4 days a week if I had to guess. I still managed to gain the standard 10 lbs one gains in college, but I mostly just ran to keep that in check, along with use it as my personal therapy.
After college, Glenn and I started running half marathons and marathons on the regular. Throughout the post college years-(10 years.. WUT), I’ve run plenty of races for time, plenty for fun, plenty pregnant, plenty on a comeback and I’ve been the cheerleader for many.
Two kids, two surgeries and a couple of minor injuries, I’ve had my fair share of time on the sidelines. When people get injured and I see them get so in a funk… this is me saying, chill the F out. When people go on and on about their running injury, I usually roll my eyes. Calm down, it’s just running. Considering my love for running and the amount of time I’ve spent in the sideline position, I think I have the right. Now, someone like Glenn does not have that right, because he’s never really been injured except some minor achilles stuff, he’s never had to take a break for babies or surgeries. BUT I HAVE and I’m here to say it aint that bad so stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop complainng and spend your time on something else worthwhile.
I was planning to run Indy Women’s half marathon two weeks from today, for time. My goal was somewhere around 1:28 depending on the weather. I then had Chicago in 4 weeks later with the Saucony 26 strong project as a coach and mentor, and then Monumental, 4 weeks after that, where my plan was to run somewhere around 3:05. I was all set up for having a great half marathon and full marathon PR if the day was good and if the rest of my training paned out as planned. This whole tearing my plantar fascia has really screwed up those plans. I’m not sure how long I won’t be running, my guess is 4ish weeks. So the goals change, the whole rest of the year changes running wise, but that’s ok. Am I a little irritable? Yes, but not a huge deal. As soon as my foot isn’t too tender, I’m going to get in the pool and on the bike.
Runners get so hung up on their injuries and FREAK OUT and this week, I’m over here excited to wake up and just take a shower without feeling obligated to workout first. Today, I woke up at 6:30am and went to garage sales with my sister and her kids. (My kids were still asleep) This is something I would never normally do on a Saturday morning- because obviously I would need to run first. And when Lou got up from his nap, we went to waller around Broad Ripple (and indeed watched other people run along the monon- I did not envy a run in 90 degree weather). Of course this isn’t my new norm, but it’s my norm for these next few weeks. I like to run, I like to exercise and I want my fix, but I’m cool chillin for now. This is not my career, this is not my job. This is my hobby. And if I don’t have any other hobbies I can spend time on, I must be really boring.
Whether you are injured, you’re currently running, whatever is going on- if you aren’t throughly enjoying it, if you’re stressing out about times or getting overly nervous and letting it rule your thoughts, it’s probably time to evaluate why you’re running in the first place. It took me a decent amount of years to get to a place where I don’t stress much about it. I do get a healthy dose of nerves occasionally, but I’m working on that. I’m working on being more excited than nervous to put the work in and enjoy the work that’s been put in on race day.
Running will always be huge part of my life; our families life, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how it needs to not be number one. I need to make sure other things like relationships- with God, Family and friends are not second to running. If you feel like something is missing there is probably a reason. Running can’t fulfill everything. It provides (first and foremost) a great endorphin buzz that serves as a natural antidepressant. It provides a great amount of self-confidence, an amazing community and is a healthy, great activity to have in your life, but it’s not everything.
So on that note- do you want to see my garage sale scores?
After Glenn’s run we went to Nicey Treat, one of our favorite places in Broad Ripple. He’s tired. He’s ready for the Barkley Fall Classic to come. And go. And take a break. By break, I bet he’ll go down to just chillin’ at 50 miles a week the rest of the year and NO racing.
Because Nice Matters.
Also, you see that cute necklace? It’s from Urban Kitty. One of my friends opened up a cutie consignment shop in Broad Ripple. Check it out, she rocks.