I’ve spent much of my running career, if you will, comparing and contrasting myself to others. Am I running fast enough? Am I running enough miles? Am I signed up for enough races? Why doesn’t my running form look like hers? Why do I sweat more than them? The questions and insecurities continued and continued, until they stopped…
It’s not that I have felt burnt out, per se, but I’ve either felt like I’m not doing enough, or not doing the right things, and I have been feeling stuck. Over the first couple months so far of this year, I’ve done a lot of reflecting and thinking about my expectations of myself and my running, and have realized some things, and I feel like I need to get them out on the interwebs.
Don’t get me wrong, I love running, and don’t want to stop anytime soon. Like, not ANYtime soon. I want to still be running in my 60s. I want to be able to for years and years. But I also like doing other things. I really like the cycle class I’ve been going to. I really like riding my bike, taking walks, lifting weights… I know everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, and some people can workout for hours each day, but I’m not that person. I can, and want to continue, to work out daily, or 6 days each week, but I don’t think all of those days can be running days.
My knee often doesn’t like running, and will tell about it for days after. I’ve been running consistently 4-5-6 days per week for 5 years now; 5 years! Over these last few months though, I’ve been taking more days off, and sure, some of that is adjusting to engaged life, adjusting to living with Chris, adjusting to more work at work, adjusting to wedding planning, and being sick for a couple weeks, or spraining my ankle… but some of it was also that I didn’t FEEL like running that day.
I’ve struggled with this, because I’m supposed to run. But why? Why can’t I be satisfied and fulfilled with being active? Running and being active? I most definitely still want to be a runner, at my core. But I’m happy right now, NOT running a full 5-6 days each week. I plan to go with my gut on this, and branch out and not push myself to run all the time if I don’t feel it. I think it will make my runs more meaningful, my miles more fulfilling.
I have 5 races planned for this year, and will probably add a couple 5k’s here or there. But this is going to be the first year since I started running that I have less than 10 races on my schedule. And I’m really excited for fewer races, and for my first full marathon this fall!
My knee is doing much better than it was doing last year, or even last month, and I’m continuing to make it stronger, and adding in other activities along with running, and not running so many miles will do nothing but help my knee.
This is a lot of rambling, but I felt like I wanted to get my thoughts out. I’m really excited to run, to bike, to hike, to walk, to lift, to see where my strong and awesome body will take me, without putting irrational stresses and expectations on myself for no reason except to live up to others’ dreams and expectations and goals.
Always with my brave wings, Renee =)