It is no secret that the tone of this here blog has been pretty negative. Generally I am an upbeat person, if sarcasm and the occasional self-deprecating comment doesn’t count, but since my marathon training has gone down the crapper it has been kind of hard to stay positive.
It’s because of all my mishaps lately. I haven’t been feeling like myself in my running shoes and the miles that once seemed so easy are now kind of eluding me. I used to be so committed, running was such a big part of my life, and then I just took it for granted. And now I am suffering.
I know I am not the only one feeling this way. I hope that she doesn’t mind me sharing, but Julie over at ROJ Running was feeling the same way. Coming back from injury and finding the time, running has just sort of slipped from her radar. Not intentionally but it sort of just happened. All of a sudden you find yourself at square one and you wonder what happened to all the hard work. Can you even call yourself a runner anymore?
I have been in marathon training since April 2011. Running a marathon in the fall, spring, and again in the fall. I would say then, I was a runner. A pretty hardcore one at that. And now as my times and distance break down and fade away into my sore hips, I question myself as a runner all together. I’m still a runner, right?
But heres the thing; whenever a new runner comes to me for advice or questions on an ache or pain I try and help diagnose the problem. Similarly to what I am doing for myself now. Sometimes I can help, sometimes I have to refer them to someone with more know-how than me. Maybe they need to see a doc. Who knows. But then there is that occasional ache and pain that leaves me saying, “Sometimes running just hurts.”
Whether you are new to running or increasing speed and distance, you are still running. You are going to feel an ache here, some soreness there. You can stretch and cross training and bust out your foam roller, but sometimes you might just need some Advil.
I realized that this applies mentally as well. Sometimes running just hurts. It can make you feel good and it can break your heart. Missed races, missed personal records, missing your goal by mere seconds can leave you feeling pretty low. Missing a social event because you have a 18 mile run at 7am on Saturday morning can make you feel a little lonely sometimes.
But you do it because you know it’s worth it. You know that achieving your best feels better than any night out at the bar or sleeping in on a Saturday.
So as I am trying to find my place again as a runner and overcome those physical aches and pains, I am remembering why all the mental aches and pains are worth it in the first place. Because running makes me feel good, fast or slow. I feel amazing when I am running.
I kind of needed to write this to myself. My own little heart-to-heart with running. I hope someone out there found benefit in it as well. Plan on seeing a couple of these as I get closer and closer to marathon day. It’s only a couple months away.