I've been plagued with an issue for a while now. I wanted to share it with you because I think some runners may feel this way too. I hope this touches someone out there.
At what point, do you feel like you're a runner?
I know for some that may seem like a simple question. I put on shoes and I go. Whether it be 100 yards or 100 miles. I'm a runner! It may seem like that on the surface, but, for me at least, it goes way deeper.
From a previous blog post, you know my story. Long story short...I was a runner, gained weight, got hurt, lost weight and now I run. A lot. That's the physical side of things. I'm talking about the mental aspect of it. It's easy to look at me and see a runner. But sometimes that's not how I feel.
It's something that creeps into the back of my mind at almost every race. That little voice that says you're slow...you're fat...you're gonna walk anyway...just quit now. It's a self acceptance that I fight during each mile. So I keep pushing myself. Looking for that next PR, next long distance, next whatever.
Almost always, I finish a race with an amazing time/place and I think I could have done so much better. At what point do I say enough? Who knows. Please let me know if you've figured this out.
I know I should be happy with all that I've accomplished over the past year. I'm tired just thinking back over it all. I should be grateful that I can still lace up my shoes and put in miles on the great trails this state has to offer. But on some days, it's not that way at all.
I know...shut up Lynne! I'm not trying to get the boo-hoo poor me award. No, I'm just pointing out that running isn't just a physical sport. Get in my brain and you'll see it's an insane roller-coaster of emotions. I've been called crazy more that a dozen times this year alone and it's only January. LOL!
Maybe I just need to get out of my head. But that's what I do when I'm out there for mile after mile after long mile. I think about my pace, my gait, my shoes, this ache, that ache, why am I doing this....etc. What else do I have to do? It's hard to unplug and just run. Maybe y'all feel the same way.
So I asked my friend Terry Chiplin from Active at Altitude about my issue of never being satisfied and how I keep pushing. He said..."The big problem with this is that those goal posts will always be moving, and so you run the risk of never being satisfied because you never get to the place you think you should be at." His response hit home. Thank you!
I took up running to get healthy and fell in love with the sport. It's taken me places I never thought I'd see and given me friendships I'm so thankful for. I need to remember why I started, what has kept me going, and enjoy the journey instead of looking for the destination.
And hopefully then, I'll find the answer that simple question. Until next time, run on my friends...run on.