Wednesday, March 23, 2016

If it doesn't give me joy...

Dearest Blog of Mine,

I know I have been away for awhile...and I apologize for that...but I needed a break. You see...I feel like I might have of set myself up for failure this year. I made all of these running related goals...and quickly realized that my heart wasn't 100% in it...and instead of amending my goals, I have been pushing myself and continuing to reach for these goals I am not even sure I really wanted to meet anymore. The more I kept pushing, the more I resented what I was doing...I might even venture to say that I had gotten to a place where...I didn't like running anymore.

In the last few months, running hasn't been giving me as much joy as it used to. When I first started to feel this way I forced it...fake it till you make it, right? Wrong...by forcing myself to do these things that weren't making me happy I found myself resenting it. 

A few weeks ago I had an epiphany...or I suppose you could just call it common sense ;) and I thought to myself...if something isn't giving me joy...then why am I doing it?

Over the last few years "racing" has given me such joy. I have enjoyed setting goals and working my tail off to reach them. Yet...this year...my goal of running a sub 1:40 half-marathon doesn't seem quite as enticing. Yea...I mean...it would be cool if I could run a sub 1:40...I would likely feel joy for a fleeting moment if I crossed that finish line with a PR....but the reality is...my heart isn't TRULY in it.

To reach a goal like that...to take 2 minutes off of my already impressive (at least to me) PR I would have to make even more sacrifices than I did last spring. Last spring those sacrifices didn't seem like sacrifices...I didn't mind turning down a night out with friends because I needed to be well rested for my long run...I didn't mind getting up at 5AM to run and strength train before work...I didn't mind counting every single calorie that went in and out of my body...and turning down those donuts in the lounge.

This year...not so much. It feels like a huge sacrifice...one I don't really want to make. When asked to choose between a good nights sleep and a night out with friends...I choose my friends...every.single.time. When it's between going out with my husband and indulging in a little too much food and wine and eating a healthy dinner at home...I choose my husband. When it comes to sleeping in on a Saturday morning and waking up and leisurely reading my book with a cup of tea...you bet I want to choose my book...I think you get the idea.

In this season of my life I want to choose my husband, my family, my friends...My heart is not quite there when it comes to making these sacrifices. At one time it was...but when these sacrifices have started to feeling like HUGE sacrifices and the process was not giving me joy...I just couldn't see any reason to continue.

So here I am...confessing to you...I don't want to race. I don't want to run with a certain time or PR in mind. Do I still want to run? Yes...of course...but do I want to run 6 days a week? Not really. Do I want to get up at 5AM to run at a pace that makes me want to throw up? Heck no...it's just not in me at the moment.

I am just over 2 weeks away from my first race of the Heartland 39.3 series...and I can't make you any promises. I will hopefully finish the race...but it may go down as my slowest half marathon to date. I will likely not place in the top 15 for the series like I did last year...and you know what? That's okay.

Finishing 3 half-marathons in 5 weeks (no matter how fast or slow I complete them) is still an accomplishment. An accomplishment that I will be proud of. I refuse to think any less of myself because I won't be walking away with a shiny new PR or placing in my age group. I refuse to be down on myself for making the right decision for me at this time. 

Instead, I am here letting you know...it's not you...it's me. I'm hoping that by taking this pressure off of myself, that the joy will return. The joy of talking about running, writing about running, reading about running...and well running in general ;)


                Yours truly,
Heather

2 comments:

  1. It's totally ok to run just for the sake of running! I'm struggling to do even that right now. Not because I don't want to, but because I want to love it like I once did and running feels so hard right now (undoubtedly because I haven't been!) Hope to see you back posting soon!

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  2. I love how real and honest you. Seriously so humbling and I admire that. I think we all go through seasons in our life but it's very freeing when we recognize them. I know how competitive you are so I know this was probably hard conclusion to come to. Super proud of you girlie and no matter what the outcome like you said it's a HUGE FEAT and accomplishment no matter.

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