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. 

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That’s what I’m talking about…

While I’ve been home this trip, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about things that I really hope to do some day in the future, or that sound really fun, really fit my personality…and who I want to be.  Not in the deep way.

First, I feel like I am about to pass some sort of milestone, a no turning back point into career land, and I am scared poop-less by that idea.  (watching my potty mouth lol) I really feel like I don’t want to die having not worked at Starbucks and Lululemon.  At first I was like WAIT!! I need to go back to high school and college so I can have a job in retail again.  Nobody ever talks about working at the Big 4 accounting firms and then moving onto life as a barista. 

Well… Maybe it’ isn’t too late.  I feel kind of anxious about this idea all of a sudden, like I need to write it down or else I will forget.  I love the corporate and retail culture that Lululemon embodies.  I love the way they invest in each and every employee and their communities.  They spend a huge amount of money and resources on goal setting, health, fitness, and self-empowerment.  I DIG that.  THAT is what I’m talking about!!!! 

So, note to self… Don’t forget that you want to work at Lulu.  Check.

The other big thing is that I’ve been thinking about where I want to have my wedding (in the distant future).  I keep wanting to remember the resort I stayed at when I went to Morocco during my year abroad in Spain.  We drove out to a resort pretty far out, and then we drove in Hummers to another resort that was even further out in the middle of nowhere in the Sahara!! WHAT!! I know.  It was so crazy.  You kind of wonder if Google knows about it because you feel so secluded out between enormous dunes.  They do. 

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We stayed in this gorgeous hotel and then rode camels out to a campsite even more secluded. 

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Picture on a camel with veil on=BOMB idea!!!

Ok… that was a super random glimpse into my thoughts today.  I’ll spare you the governmental accounting guidelines I learned between career/wedding thoughts!