Lately, running has not been fun for me.
It has gone from this:
I dreaded nearly each and every run of my training for the Run Through Redlands Half-Marathon. Even the short, three mile runs. It took enormous amounts of self-pep talks and listening to Pitbull, to get my Asics to hit the pavement. I would have to argue with myself to get off the couch each Saturday morning. Sometimes, the lazier part of me would win and I would push my run back till Sunday. Sometimes, the quitter part of me would win and I would skip my training run all together. I did not feel any relief until I took that first step and heard the starting “beep” on my Garmin, which means I actually talked myself off my couch and into the streets.
The more I think about it, the harder it is for me to see running in my present. Running was something that was very enjoyable and alive in my past and I keep trying to recreate that in my present reality, but it’s not working. Every time I talk about races that I have run or past PRs, I feel as pathetic as Uncle Rico. I have to stop living in ’82 and admit that I may be past my running prime.
My body has felt the effects of running for some time. I struggle with knee, ankle, foot and sometimes back pain. Adding on miles and trying to increase my speed exacerbates my injuries. Running while injured is not fun. My chiropractor is constantly giving me a lecture about how running on concrete is bad for the curvature in my spine, which probably leads to the pain I feel in my knees, ankles, etc.
More than anything, my head and my heart are not in running, they way they used to be. I never had the natural, physical ability to be a great runner, but I always had the strong mind and spirit that pushed me towards the finish line. I have felt that dwindling more and more, and that has shown me that I am burned out and need to stop.
This is why I have decided to retire from racing. It’s probably more of a Jay-Z type of a retirement, but, I still know I need a break and just uttering those words provides a huge sense of relief. I want running to be fun again, so if I feel so inclined to run a few miles here or there, I will. But, I want to avoid the pressure I feel when training and the dread that comes up when I think of racing. I think I will be taking a break from racing for a looooong time and am OK with maybe even indefinitely.
I plan to focus my efforts now more on yoga and hiking. Yoga makes my body feel good, as well as my mind and heart. This is more to where I feel drawn to at the moment, and I feel energized and motivated to do yoga, not dread and depletion.
Unless something changes, (which knowing myself, it very well could) I am saying peace out to racing! I have done 9 marathons and 11 half-marathon, plus thousands of miles in training. I already proved Ladies is pimps too, so I’m just going to brush this dirt of my shoulders and move on with an Empire state of mind.