I had a revelation this morning: I don’t love running anymore.
It’s become a chore and something I dread doing. But on the days when I don’t run I beat myself up about not just getting my ass in gear. So I’m going to give myself permission not to run for a while, to find something else to do.
I started falling out of love last year after the marathon and when the great depression hit. I had gotten back into decent shape last December, but then we moved and the holidays and blah blah blah. I’m worn out mentally from having to start over every few weeks.
I’m also tired of running by myself. I haven’t found anyone to run with out here, and I can only make it in to town to run with the group on Saturday, and that’s on a good week. When I do make it in to run, I can’t keep up with the group. So I drive 25 minutes to say quick hellos to people and then watch them leave me in the dust as a totter along, feeling slower than slow.
I’ve been running since I was 21. I started after I had knee surgery that allowed me to stand up without wincing in pain. When I was coaching swimming and spending 8 hours a day on the pool deck, I wanted to do anything BUT swim for exercise. So I ran. A lot. Probably too much. Enough to have multiple stress fractures in my leg. But that’s a story for another time.
In 1998, 1999, and 2000, I took running really seriously, going to track and hill workouts and training with a group. I finished the Austin Marathon in 1998 and 1999 and did all the training for the 2000 race before winding up pregnant.
I’ve run with the same core group of women since 1999. I used to watch them run past on the trail and wish I could hang with them. Then one Saturday, as I was blowing along chatting, I realized I had become one of the running chicks I used to envy. That was a good day.
Unfortunately, this is exactly when I need running the most. We’ve got some big stuff we’re dealing with with Ella, which has raised my already high level of anxiety. Running should help me clear my head and get focused, but it doesn’t.
So I’m giving myself permission to take an official break instead of beating myself up over not getting out the door. I’m keeping moving, though. If I don’t take FeeBee for at least a two-mile walk by 8:00 am, she follows me around heaving big heavy doggy sighs. She’s exactly the coach I need right now.