My brain exploded and I word vomited all about running…Posted: April 13, 2012
I’ve spent a lot of this past week since the Great Bay Half Marathon processing some uncomfortable emotions around running. A lot of questions have come up for me…
Do I care that Julia beat me?
Do I want to get faster?
Will I ever qualify for Boston? Is that a realistic goal? Is that a goal I can set for the near future?
Do I want to run marathons anymore? Should I run marathons?
These questions led me to the big question…
Why do I run? WTF am I doing?
It was interesting because I talked through these issues with my mom, Brendan, and one of my coworkers, and each of the conversations brought up different sides. One thing I thought was super interesting was my conversation with my coworker. We’ll call him Matt. I told Matt all about my conflicting thoughts and emotions.
On the one hand, I had a pretty good race last weekend. I PR’d by 10 seconds for my hilly race PR (I can classify PRs if I want to), I had a really strong last few miles for the first time in a long time, and I learned a lot about my struggle with pacing. On the other hand, it wasn’t a true PR and that sucked. Julia ran quite a bit faster than me and she got an enormous confidence boost that day, which made me super jealous all of a sudden. The day after the race when I went out to do an easy four miles, I COULD NOT RUN. My injured hamstring from 3 years ago did not like our 20 mile run and then it did not like the hilly half marathon. I was devastated to realize that I probably won’t be going into this marathon completely injury free. It won’t be ideal. That sucks. It sucks so bad to train for something for months and then realize that I will have to start all over to try to achieve an injury-free marathon. This made me question whether I was really cut out for marathon training. Maybe my body just isn’t responding well to high mileage. Maybe it never will. If I were to run a flat half in a month instead of the full, I would probably PR. But now I feel like I just maybe will take a few minutes off my marathon time and find myself needing rest for months. EEEEWWW MY LIFE.
Matt responded by bringing up the fact that in the end I am still getting exercise and isn’t that why I run anyways? LOL LOL LOL I died. I died because that is absolutely why I started running. I started running years ago to exercise, to burn calories. Do I enjoy those same benefits every time I go running now? Yes. Is that why I am training for a full marathon?! Absolutely not. and that’s what I told Matt. I LOVE running. I LOVE training. I live for weekend days spent out on a well-planned long run of at least 2 hours. I live for the planning of that run, the execution, and the RECOVERY. Oh the recovery. I love the whole day. It is so luxurious. Now… if I suddenly did not love running, did not love training, would I still run? Probably. Would I run long? Absolutely not. I can manage my weight a million times more easily if I run 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes. I struggle to manage my weight when I start marathon training. BUT I LOVE IT!
I love running. I love training plans. I love running vacations with friends. I love distance races.
I like getting better. I like running a PR. I like feeling like I am good at what I do.
I ABSOLUTELY DREAM of a BQ. And so I realized… sometime soon I will sit down and get serious. I will plan speed training and actually do the reps that are on the schedule. I will do tempo runs. I will get uncomfortable during training runs. I know I will not be able to do those things until I really commit to them. That isn’t right now. I will not BQ in Toronto. I didn’t get serious this training cycle. I ran three days a week or less. Sometimes once. I did exactly two speed workouts… the first two. A BQ wouldn’t mean so much to me if I could just qualify after this training.
I will BQ some day. I don’t need to worry about that today.