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Embracing The Changes In Life

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Someone recently asked me about my running and how I currently feel about it. True, I'm not running 5 days per week as I have in the past. I'm not even running my usual 3. I think my new norm for awhile (maybe forever) might be 2 days a week.

How do I feel about it? I feel liberated. I feel like stepping outside of the model of runner to something bigger. Because I've said it before, and I will say it again, I am more than just a runner.
As I grow older with my family, I realize that life is constantly changing. I am constantly changing. And learning to embrace the change definitely makes for an easier transition. For probably the first time in my life, I am

That Marathon Really Took A Toll On Me Emotionally

I'm in a funk. And I haven't been like this.. well... I don't think ever. When I moved from MS to PA, I got depressed and stopped running. But when I ran in MS, running was very different for me. I met my best friend most mornings out of the week, and we would run/talk. It was great. She was by far the better runner. I cherished our time together, and still do. To this day, I still miss our runs. 

When I moved to PA, I lost that. And going from running with your best friend to running solo was a major change for me. So much in fact that I gave up running. I don't remember how long I stopped. I just know that I did (for awhile). And I honestly don't even remember how I started back running again. But I did. 
And then I met some people at some races, and starting making some running friends. I ran several 5Ks and then moved up to 10Ks, joined a running group, ran my first half marathon (followed by several more) then ran my first Marathon at 40, and just finished my 2nd just a couple of weeks ago. But the last marathon where I feel that I gave up really did a number on me. 

Physically my knee is still a little off. It felt so so during my 1 mile run yesterday, but after a 2 mile power-walk it hurt to walk and bothered me the rest of the day. So I know things aren't exactly the way that they should be. 

But mentally, mentally that race, that weekend just really did something to me. I can't even really explain what I'm feeling because truthfully I'm not really sure what I am feeling. I've never felt this way after a race. Disappointment? Well sure.. numerous times of missed goals and should haves / would haves. But never have I felt such despair and disappointment with myself. It's weird. I can't even describe it. I just know that I'm in a funk - a bad funk. One that I don't want to be in. 

I think I really had high expectations for myself, and I really feel that I could have met those expectations. But I didn't, and I think that's where my hang up is.

And I think that I need to take a step back and re-evaluate some things within myself. 

So other than my #RunningStreak that I started and hope to at least continue until January 1  (side note if the knee allows me), I plan to take a little break from running. I had a 5 mile race on the schedule in December, but right now the thoughts of running more than a couple of miles, and 'training' just makes me feel even more in a funk. So I'm putting that on the back burner at the moment. 

My plan? Take an entire week off (other than my #RunningStreak) - no cross training - no cardio - only strength training. Say what?!? Yeah, I know right! I hate strength training. So why would someone who is in a funk do the one thing that she hates doing? I think subconsciously I need to push through something that I don't totally enjoy doing to show myself that I can do it. And I would like to give the knee a little rest, while trying to still burn some calories so I can shed these pounds. And I would really like to be more toned by the end of the year. So I figure for this upcoming week, I plan to do just that and see how I feel then. 

How can one race totally destroy all the confidence that I've ever had in myself? 



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Comments

  1. Hey - maybe switching up your fitness routine is just what you need! Strength training is pretty awesome once you find a routine you like.
    Good luck!

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    1. I hope I find a routine also! I've yet to stick with strength training, and I would really like to!

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  2. Sounds like an excellent plan Amy. Take some time off and heal.

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    1. Thank you.. I'm hoping taking a little break will help.

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  3. Take a break. I very much understand a marathon destroying a runner's confidence. Take a break. Just take a break, don't run at all. Forcing yourself isn't going to help matters. Take real time off.

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    1. So far the 1 mile a day has been pretty good for me.... but we'll see what the upcoming week brings. If it starts to feel like a chore I may re-think the idea.

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  4. I understand where you're coming from. My second marathon was supposed to be a PR... but it went badly. I was in a funk and I was desperate so I signed up for another marathon a month or two later, and then got injured a week or so before. Obviously, the marathon went badly. I was physically and mentally just wrecked. I really had to take some time and step away from that kind of running, go back to the very basics and low mileage, but mostly just do other things and make peace with it all. Crosstrain :)

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    1. Sorry to hear that your 2nd went badly also! And from what I'm hearing, a lot of people have gone through this!

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  5. Awww ... totally understand this post. The mental aspect of racing is HUGE, it is far more intense than we sometimes realize. Take all the time you need, there is nothing wrong with taking breaks. I agree, if you hate strength training, definitely don't do it while on break. Sometimes we all need time away to re-group and quite frankly, just vedge out a bit. The only tricky part is keeping some kind of base in tact so you don't have to build back up from square one. Now sounds like the time to just run for fun only. I did that after my marathon, I spent 5 straight months of only enjoyable fun running. No training, no seriousness, just enough to keep base. It also helped me to come back with a different mindset and a different focus. You will get there, you are still fresh off a marathon with the high emotional charge right now. Pamper yourself during the holidays, enjoy, and do only FUN running/exercise! :)

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    1. Yep, need to keep it fun with NO pressure!

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  6. Amy- it's wild! I ran my first marathon a day before 40....then my second was a race where I trained so hard, cramped up at mile 14. I finished the race. People would scoff at my time and I learned/reminded myself that it's tough to finish a marathon and the time doesn't matter. By definition, you are an elite runner (a friend told me that people who run more than 1 marathon are elites). :) Keep it in perspective...love and running are similar ventures. You love running, but may need a little break or variety. Yesterday, I blogged about being able to run and the perspective/gift that it really is. I ran a small race yesterday and had a big challenge. I decided to smile and accept the fact that I can run and it's a privilege. :) If you are interested, here is a link to the blog post. You have a great blog! I will follow...and hang in there! You rock!

    http://marathonmypersonaljourney.blogspot.com/2013/11/give-thanksthanksgiving-time.html

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    1. Thanks.. I'll check out your post also! I'm finding that this is quite common!

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