Monday, April 21, 2014

Running Confession and Absolution


share a bad race or training experience and what you learned from it

I have a confession.  I haven't been on a run in 25 days, and I feel awful about it.

The problem isn't that I'm annoyed about not taking advantage of the most beautiful running days we've had in months, though I am, and it's not that I'm frustrated about spending $75 on a race I didn't run, though I definitely am; it's that I feel totally disconnected from and disrespectful of my body.

I had grand plans for my spring training schedule, including a gorgeous 10 mile race on April 13 in preparation for an early summer half-marathon to redeem me from my last 13.1 miles, and none of them have come to fruition.  There are a few excellent excuses I could make - I started a new job on March 31, Jon was visiting April 4-15, and we had two evening work events last week - but even recognizing that the past month has been mentally and logistically draining doesn't make me feel any better physically or emotionally.

From the past month of not running, I've learned that, unless I'm injured, I have to run.  Running has become such an integral part of my life that neither my body nor my soul are as strong as they can be when I'm not pounding the pavement.  I'd already discovered that I eat better when I'm training, but I started to take for granted how many areas of my life are positively affected when I'm active.  (I do walk 5-6 miles every day thanks to my commute and all the walks that Charlie demands, but that's not the same as gearing up and going out for a run.  Thanks, Fitbit, for both reassuring me and allowing me to get complacent!)  When I'm not running, I don't feel connected to my body, I don't appreciate what my body can do, and I don't love how my body looks.

That last one is the most interesting to me, actually.  Even if my clothes fit the same as they did 25 days ago, which they don't due to overindulgence on top of the lack of activity, I know that I don't see the same thing in the mirror as I would if I hadn't let my running fall by the wayside.  Because of running, I love my body, extra pounds and all; without running, I forget to be proud of my body and what it can accomplish.

And so, dear readers, I'm going for a run tonight.  I'm getting back on the wagon - this is a lesson I don't want to have to learn again!


this post was also inspired by Jaybird's Love Your Body Resolution series

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18 comments:

  1. It's strange how some days we just don't want to run and then when we can't run for one reason or another, we miss it terribly. It's an addition, but it's a good one. Have a great run tonight!

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  2. You just described me perfectly. Except I went much further than 25 days.

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  3. I needed to read this today! I think I'm actually suffering from OVERtraining, but the feelings are all the same. I'm getting in the miles but it's just so I can check them off on my training plan. That's not the way I want to be! It's so hard to find a balance, that sweet spot where we're running enough to feel like ourselves but not so much that we stop feeling like ourselves.

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  4. I always struggle with this! Sometimes I go for long periods of time when I just don't feel like running, and I always give myself a major guilt trip. Then, one day I just get outside and go! I constantly have to remind myself that sometimes my body NEEDS a break from running. I can't beat myself up for taking a break. Good health is a balancing act!

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  5. Yes, yes, yes! It's amazing how different I FEEL when I'm running. My clothes may look the exact same, but knowing that I ran makes me feel like I look better in them. It gives me so much more confidence.


    Hope you enjoy your run tonight. :)

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  6. Loved this honest post! I've done the same thing. I was supposed to train for a half marathon coming up on May 5th. However, I went to Hawaii and honestly after hiking and sight seeing I didn't really care to run 8 or 9 miles. Then when I got home I didn't want to either. So, that race is out of the question but I am gearing up for shorter runs.


    I'd love to hear how your run goes tonight. You will feel so good after it!

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  7. I love love love the last thing you said. I totally and completely relate. When I'm running, I feel so much better about my body and how it looks and feels. Usually nothing has changed, but when I don't run, I feel all flabby and gross. It's mental, obviously. I didn't become flabby and gross in the four, five, six days I wasn't running. But then I go for a run, even if it's just a couple of miles, and feel so much better. Great lesson for us all :) Thanks for linking up! Also... I had to back out of a race I paid for, and I two years later I'm still mad about it. Although in my case there was a death in the family that prevented my going, so I can't feel too bad. Still, I feel you on that. Sorry you had to skip it! Have you signed up for anything else coming up? I don't have anything on my race schedule, and I'm DYING to sign up for another race.

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  8. Confession: I made a resolution to focus on fitness, but not only have I not run in two weeks, I blew off a beautiful run to go stuff myself in an Easter buffet. Totally feel you on feeling disrespectful of my body. And after saying all that, I get that I'm not being very supportive when I'm totally using your post just to vent about my own blahs. Good for you for getting back on the wagon! Tomorrow, I'm hoping I can do the same!

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  9. Hope you were able to get back out there! Occasionally when I'm not motivated on a particular day for a run I think of just scrapping it altogether - but then I make myself get out there because even if on that day I think maybe I just never need to run again, I know I would seriously miss doing it (and did when I had to stop for half of my pregnancy!). Plus I would miss all those other good things you mentioned. It's amazing what running does for your body, mind, and soul. Good luck getting back into the routine!

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  10. Good luck for your run tonight! I'm training for a 10k at the moment and running for the first time in a few years is so hard. I'm taking it one run at a time...otherwise I get a bit too mentally overloaded!

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  11. Fab post. I applaud you!! I struggle a lot to exercise these days. I really should join a gym. It's the only way I would have any motivation whatsoever!

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  12. Good luck in getting back into running! I feel quite the same way as you've described when I get out of my fitness routines. Every time I get back into the swing, though, I feel so great that I wonder why I ever quit in the first place.

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  13. THIS: "Even if my clothes fit the same as they did 25 days ago, which they don't due to overindulgence on top of the lack of activity, I know that I don't see the same thing in the mirror as I would if I hadn't let my running fall by the wayside. Because of running, I love my body, extra pounds and all; without running, I forget to be proud of my body and what it can accomplish."


    You've put the swirling thoughts in my head into beautiful words. I've honestly been wrestling with this for almost five months now, not because I'm running less (I'm doing that much more!), but because I've completely lost my old habit of cooking nutritious, delicious meals 9 times out of 10 and replaced it with drinking lots of craft beer and grabbing cheap, processed junk on-the-go. Whether it's running or eating thoughtfully, I know I'm doing something good for my body and I can take a lot of pride in that. When I'm not...welp, I feel like I do now.

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  14. sometimes the words just fall into place! thank you :)

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  15. SO true! it sort of has to be about you through the running rather than about the running through you, you know?

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  16. yes! and it was interesting because I didn't feel "oh, I should run" guilty, it was "my body wants to run" guilt when I wasn't.

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