Friday, August 19, 2011

The Running Roller Coaster of Life

Many of you have posted on your experiences with running specifically how you came to be a runner.  I am not really going to tell that story today. More so, I want to talk about the running roller coaster that I constantly ride - the one that the sooner I accept the more fun I will have running and the less hard I will be on myself in general.

So what do I mean by a running roller coaster.  Like many things in life, running is a roller coaster ride, there are many ups and many downs.  One moment you are on top of the world and the next you are back down at the bottom - this can happen in a matter of moments or days.  As Dean Karnazes put it in his book RUN  with ultra-marathons "if you feel great now, just wait a moment."  I was thinking about this concept and post a lot and it seems like these past few months for me exemplify such issues.

Back in the beginning of April, I was fed up with running.  I had what I consider what was one of the worst runs in years.  It was freezing cold, my jacket was hurting my neck and my shoulders were hurting like crazy, my fingers were frozen cold.  It was NOT fun.  But I pushed myself to get outside and run because I HAD to run to train for my race.  By Mile 1.5 I was in tears.  I made it back to the car at mile 3 and broke down crying.  I was not happy, this was not what running should be.  I had had, enough.  No more I announced. No more meticulous training.  If I want to run, I will run. If I want to go to the gym, I will go to the gym and if I am too tired or if I don't want to, who cares.

After that, I found the running community - other people like me who ran (who would have thought!).  I found the blogging community.  I realized I could run for fun and with people.  So I started making running dates and enjoying myself.  And like that I was back on the upswing, chugging up to the top and landing there in June placing in a race.  And just as I was there, I fell right back down again with feet and shoe problems.  The whole summer was up and down, good days, bad days - maybe too many bad ones.  I went from slow to fast to back to slow (all relative).  I saw my times climb and plummet.  There were tears, there was screaming - I am not going to lie.  But through all of this, I have learned something.  Like life, this is just how running is.  Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down and it is what you do with it that matters.   The more I make my running social, fun and a good time the happier I am. The more I come to accept my times, my speed, my injuries, the better I feel.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am not perfect. I still care a lot (maybe more than I should) about my speed, my times, my goal to run MCM, but life is what it is and the more I realize that, the easier and better running will be.

Tomorrow I will run between 10-11 miles...maybe 12.  I will run with friends.  They may be faster or slower but we will make it work.  We will chat, we will have a good time.  Maybe my legs will feel great, maybe not.  But I am not going to worry about it.  Because in the end, I am getting out there, I am pushing towards my goal, and I am having a hell of a good time doing it :)  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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