My brain exploded and I word vomited all about running…

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. 


3 Comments on “My brain exploded and I word vomited all about running…”

  1. Hi, I ran the Great Bay last weekend also and my buddy beat me by a lot. I knew he would going into the race. Someone is always going to be faster than you, it may be your best friend or a Kenyan. You can’t let it get you down. To me running is a fun sport because I’m running against my self. I can go to a race with my friends and not even care how many of them finish in front of me. I’m just glad that they are there and that I ran the race I planned to.
    Keeping up with a program is VERY difficult. Most people i know miss a few days or cut back on a long run sometimes. I think it’s important to listen to your body. Once you start pushing your miles significantly beyond your base miles it starts to wear on your body. Things start to hurt.
    I know that the only way to make progress is to push my self even if it hurts, but sometimes you need to roll it back a bit and give your body a break.
    I missed my PR at Great Bay by 5 minutes. I planned to run slower because I didn’t want to get hurt, and i’m running Boston on Monday.

  2. "papa D " says:

    Potty mouth…… ( WTF ) ?????? <l;-Q

    Glad you made it… and enjoyed???? Take care and don't over-do it. ( I am only walking 45 – 60 minutes three days a week… ( I know… I am a wossie?? )


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