Don't call it a comeback. I’m resetting. I'm starting over. I'm redefining my relationship with running and what being a runner will mean to me in the future and how it got me to this point.
I started "really" running in the fall of 2008. I was sad, lonely, and miserable. Things change. Addresses, friends, jobs, goals, priorities, relationships, families, interests, everything, attitudes--change.
Fast forward to 2011 and I’m anything but sad, lonely or miserable. I’m crazy busy and happier than ever. I keep getting bogged down in what my running used to be. It was a defense mechanism and a way of establishing myself in my own terms. I used to run when I was unhappy. I used to run to prove it. I used to run because I didn’t have anything else do to. I used to run because I was afraid of gaining weight. I used to run because I wanted to be stronger, faster, leaner. I used to run because other people didn’t. I used to run because I needed to feel some form of accomplishment in the day. I used to run because I did not feel good about myself.
Those deep-seated motivators simply don’t light a fire under my feet anymore. I’m not so worried about gaining a few pounds because I’ve finally learned that what is in my head is far more important my pant size.
I used to run to prove “it.” I would run through or over whatever “it” that was missing in my life or the “it” that I was not succeeding with. I had to prove I was something outside of ‘editor’ or the unhappy person I was on the verge of becoming. Would you rather have someone say, “oh, she’s a runner,” or “oh, she’s a bitch.” I might have made another mistake at work, but I ran 6 miles that morning. I don’t see the connection either but that got me through the day. I might not have any one to go home to but there was always a treadmill waiting for me. I didn’t need anyone because I had my sneakers and myself. Get it?
Running is often about challenging yourself and reaching deep down to see how far you can go. I now know I can run 13.1 miles and am capable of doing more. It taught me how to set goals and plan. I don’t feel the same urge to go further and faster. I’ve achieved the goals I wanted to achieve through running and in a few months will have achieved some significant life goals as well.
I’m currently working a new set of running and life goals. The past month(s) off was not a slump. It was a reset. I will continue to run and sign up for races and buy adorable running clothes because I simply enjoy it. It’s a part of my life now but it is not my life now. I have an ultimate goal of running 2011 Philadelphia Marathon in November and beating my half-marathon PR of 2:09. But first, I have a Master’s degree to complete, a career to manage, boyfriend to spend time with, and a family I’d like to see more than once every three months.
As my favorite singer/song-writer and this blog’s namesake once said,
“I’ve got more and more to do/ I’ve got less and less to prove/ And it took me too long to realize that I don’t take good picture/because I have the kind of beauty that moves.”