June 2, 2015

(Running) Relationship Status: It's complicated

On Sunday, I went out for a short run around the neighborhood. I still have a bit of knee pain but it's improved a lot and is tolerable. So off I went! I made it 3.5 miles at a pretty decent clip and I contemplated my running status...how I feel, my goals, my interest level, etc.

During this run it finally hit me that my relationship with running has been like that good old Facebook relationship status, "it's complicated." I love running for the endless mental and physical benefits but I just haven't been feeling it lately. And if I'm being truly honest, I haven't ever gotten my groove back completely following my epically terrible day at the Richmond Marathon. Sure, I've moved on from the deep disappointment I felt and I've embraced running again (even earning a 10k PR in February) but it hasn't been a major player in my life.

It's a weird feeling. I've built a network of friends though running. My social media feeds are dominated by running so I've been eschewing them a bit. I almost feel like I don't belong anymore...in the online world I created for myself! I'm not looking for pity - it is what it is. I'm enjoying alternative activities and still staying fit. It's been a little strange to feel disconnected and disinterested in running.

After reading my friend Megan's recent post on running being a hobby, I couldn't help but relate. While I love running, it doesn't pay my bills or take care of me, etc. It's just a hobby. I was probably letting myself feel a bit inadequate about my running unnecessarily. If I'm enjoying it, I do it and if not, find something new. It's really that simple!

In just a few weeks, I'll be lacing up my sneakers to start training for Marine Corps Marathon as a member of Team Fisher House. I know that will give me adequate motivation to move from "it's complicated" to "in a relationship" with running again!

How do you handle lulls in your running?
{Christine}

29 comments:

  1. Think of it this way, Running Doesn't need to be "Who you are", it can just be "what you do". Even though running has dominated your life for so long, it doesn't have to define you. You need to be able to enjoy all the other aspects of your life too! -M

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    1. Good comment! It definitely doesn't define me at all. I much more readily identify with my job...which is a good thing since it pays the bills. Megan's post was much more targeted at amateur runners and bloggers trying to make it their job. I'm enjoying some lifestyle blogs and IG accounts a lot more now! :)

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  2. Its natural for us all to go through ups and downs with a lot of things in life, including running. You'll eventually get your mojo back, and I think your MCM training will be just the key to helping you find it again.

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    1. I think MCM will be great. And I'm enjoying some more diversification in life.

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  3. I've found this to be true of a lot of the things I do, there are lulls and then I regain an interest in them after a little break away :) The breaks are good because they allow me to miss things, and also to engage in new things that could also turn into things I like. There are definitely great reasons to embrace a temporary lull.

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    1. Breaks are great for hobbies I think. I go through peaks and lulls with cooking all the time it seems. My peak and valley cycle with running seems to be much longer!

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  4. Yes, it's a hobby! We do this FOR FUN! So relate to that. I can create a little box of my own making and then beat myself up for not fitting inside it.

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  5. Very few people ever can make running a career, and there can only be 1 winner in each race. Everyone else is there for hobby, fun, goals and just the ability to be active. I think the most important thing to keep in mind with any sport or workout, goals. Is to keep them fun, keep them on the enjoyment level. Sometimes that may even mean taking a little time off and trying something new. But it doesn't matter if we come in first or last, as long as we are having fun that is the most important thing.
    On that note, yes I go through those moments. As I am trying to get past all my work injuries and get into marathon running again, it's been a struggle, and I do have to often remind myself, I am doing this for fun, it doesn't matter if I am far slower than ever before!

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    1. Great points and running and a career. I'm glad I wasn't blessed with the genes to give that a whirl...it would be a tough career!
      I had a pep talk with myself about potentially running slower at MCM and I'm mostly ok with it...mostly! :)

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  6. I think it's a really healthy thing to put running on the back burner from time to time to pursue other things -- I think it's an important part of a balanced life. I learned this the hard way when I got injured last year and was devastated that I couldn't run for 3+ months. At the time running was dominating my extracurricular and social lives, and I wasn't sure what to do with myself without it. I was a big baby at first, but eventually realized I needed to suck it up and focus my energy on some other interests (of which I have plenty!). During this time I got into practicing yoga regularly, rekindled some relationships with non-running friends, and enjoyed a lot of sleeping in! I realize now that as well as a physical break, this time was also good for my mental relationship with running, and when I got back into it I was super energized and motivated to train for the NYC Marathon. I was able to recognize and appreciate my love of running all the more, with the knowledge that if I can't or don't run, life will still go on!
    Hopefully some downtime for you, especially when you're focused on being a bride and a newlywed, will be well-timed to revitalize you for MCM this fall :-).

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    1. I have really enjoyed my laid back weekends and time in the evenings. I'm almost a little afraid of jumping back into a training cycle to lose my lazy time! But marathon training with a charity team will be an awesome experience I think.

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  7. I feel like a good majority of us are in a running slump right now-hopefully some nice rest and new training goals can turn that around!

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    1. It's funny you say that - I've seen so many people commenting on this. Misery loves company!

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  8. I'm completely with you right now! I feel like MCM did me in last fall and I haven't been excited since. I'm taking a step back and focusing on other strength activities and short distances. I may not marathon again this fall even though I'm registered for Marine Corps. Here's to both of us getting our mojo back! I just want to enjoy it again - could care less about competition at this stage. Be well my friend!

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    1. Aw thanks Mar! I feel the same. I really could care less about speed, I just want to feel comfortable on the road (at least consistently) again.

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  9. I think we all have ups and downs.
    I just let myself take time off and do other workouts and I find I always come back to running.

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    1. The funny thing is I'm not sure I will (after I finish my fall marathon since I already started fundraising)...which is totally ok but I've spent 4 years so involved in it that it feels weird to be so disconnected now.

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  10. Oh my goodness, I say this ALL THE TIME! I am not training to make the Olympic team. I am not making a living doing this. Why stress about it?!? (Plenty of other things to stress about in life!)

    I've always said to myself that I am running for enjoyment and the minute I don't enjoy it I should stop doing it. I will rarely push myself through a run if I'm not enjoying it, I don't want running to become something that feels like a chore or an obligation, that's the same reason I don't really push myself to run for time in races, I just don't enjoy it that way! I much prefer to just run along and take in the scenery and the environment, I was thinking about it recently and most of my least favorite race experiences were actually my PR races because I was just running hard and not enjoying it at all!

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    1. I feel like we need to make MCM fun for us!! It's a strange balance at times...to be motivated to improve and yet still enjoy it. It reminds me of some swimmers I knew who burned out when they were 14 or 15 years old since they had already been swimming for years and struggled to improve.

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  11. Love this girl! There are always highs and lows with everything! You do what is right for you!

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    1. Thanks Mindy! My brain feels so preoccupied these days that I thought it would be helpful but I'm just not into it.

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  12. I ran the Richmond Half, it was freeezing that day!! I guess we all have up and downs with running, I am recovering from a stress fracture and I really missed while I was out. Sometimes we need a break from it i guess to make us miss it :)

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    1. Ain't that the truth?! Absence makes the heart grow fonder I suppose.

      I've never been so cold before a race. I literally wore a wool coat that I ditched (it was really old and headed to goodwill regardless). It was a very tough day for racing!

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  13. I haven't run since the Star Wars half. To be honest, it has been a wonderful break. I did some serious damage to one of my knees before the NYC marathon and this time off has definitely helped heal it. Because I took some time off, I'm extra excited about running Wine & Dine in November and following a plan instead of running every race I can and feeling burnt out. I trained for NYCM for 3 summers in a row before I actually got to run it and I'm really happy I don't have a fall marathon this year.

    You'll get your groove back and you'll be better than ever!

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    1. I think I burned myself out in 2013-2014. Then I forced myself to run a fall marathon last year and I knew my heart wasn't in it the whole time but I kept pushing. I haven't been the same since. I'm glad I have a friend running MCM and I'm starting to come to terms with running that for fun rather than time.

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  14. Same! Just feeling unmotivated and burnt out! I have barely run lately, 2 slow miles at most a week!, but where I differ is I'm having a hard time doing anything. I just feel tired all the time! And those feet of mine still feeling sore are a good excuse to not do much (after being on my feet all day at work). It's hard, and it's "definitely complicated"!! Haha! Hoping you get through your training ok, thinking of you!

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  15. I just went through this. I had a race on the calendar and hadn't really trained. it was HOT and I took it slow to avoid injuring myself and when it was all done I was glad I did it like every other race I've ever run it's not about winning it's about finishing and it's about being happy and proud that your body can do amazing things more than your mind ever thinks it can. Candace Fournier

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