A break.

Dear running,

We need to talk.

I want to start off by saying it’s not you, it’s me. You’re great. In the year and half that we’ve been seeing each other you’ve been nothing but a source of freedom, a breath of fresh air, and the kick in the butt that I so desperately needed. You’ve given me some great new friends, a new found confidence, and a pair of completely remodeled legs. You have proven me wrong time and time again.

Until recently. For some reason this thing that we’re doing: track workouts, tempo runs, long runs, easy runs… it’s not working for me right now. I’m burnt out, I’m not happy, and I know my performance has been less than stellar. You don’t deserve that. And neither do I. Which is why I think that Β it would be best for all parties involved if we take a break for a little while.

I want you to know that this decision wasn’t easy. It brought me to tears (Which I know isn’t a hard thing to do but it means I’m emotionally attached to you). And I have to admit- I’m a little nervous to not have you a part of my daily routine. I’m scared that I’ll lose my endurance, that this base I’ve worked so hard to build will disintegrate, and there’s a big part of me that’s petrified the weight will creep back in your absence. I feel like a teenage girl going through a breakup even though I know this isn’t goodbye. I’m not sure how long of a break I need, but I’m confident I will know when the moment is right. And hopefully it won’t be too long. You and I have done some absolutely incredible things together and we’re going to keep doing those things. I want to do things even MORE incredible with you, I want you to blow all my doubts and insecurities out of the water. But if we’re going to keep making magic together I need a rest. My legs are tired, my lungs are tired, my heart is tired.

Part of me feels like I’m giving up, I’m letting it beat me. I feel like I’m letting myself and those who believe in me down, and that right there is a terrible feeling. This break certainly feels a lot more half ass than it does bad ass. But as hard as it is, I know that this means I am making my first real decision as an “athlete”. I know that in order for this to be a life long relationship we’ve got to go at it slow and steady.

So I’m turning the watch off for a bit. I’m tucking my training log book up on a shelf for now. I’m going to see other people – bootcamp, yoga and swimming. Let’s reconnect at the track again when the snow has melted and there isn’t a negative wind chill jeering behind me. Let’s talk about half marathons when I’m mentally ready for redemption. Let’s get back to that place where it was just you, me, a quiet street and a kick ass playlist. Let’s recreate that feeling of invincibility, of weightlessness, of joy that only you can give me. We’ll meet back up where we were first introduced: down by the beach where the angry ocean leaves sand on my path, where I feel like I’m the first person to see the sunrise, and where the salt air fills my burning lungs. I’ll be the girl in neon.

photo (7)

I’ll see you soon.

Love always,
Kathleen

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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on February 12, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. It’s a tough decision to make, but by having a break now, you know you’ll come back stronger. Everything you’re doing will keep you fit and strong… And maybe you could be tempted to do some cycling, so that triathlons could be in your future πŸ˜‰ Good luck x

    • Thank you for the encouragement πŸ™‚ I actually did my first two tri’s this past summer and am planning on more again this year! I don’t have a bike with a trainer, but I’ve been contemplating kicking around a spin class or two while its so cold out.

  2. Smart decision! You will still be active…running isn’t the only activity that will keep you lean. And, you’ll pick it right back up when the time is right. I had to take off June 2013-December 2013 due to an injury…but I entered 5K’s as a walker and kept myself motivated by clapping on the sidelines for other runners. And then the New Year’s Day race…that’s why my goal was to not stop…’cause I was cleared to run again…albeit in a “Father Time” costume! You will survive this “break” with flying colors…think of it as a goal to not be tempted to run.

  3. I know it is hard for you to take a break from running, but sounds like you have other things to do to keep yourself fit. Exercise is still going to be so important, especially to combat stress – because don’t you have a major, major life event happening this year?! I have lots of friends who have done 1/2s and wondered what to do next and feeling lost. You are not alone! I am still trying to figure out what direction I want to take this year in tems of training and races. I am from MA to and it is hard to get motivated after the winter we’vehad!

    • I honestly think that if I were at this point in April, or living in California- it would be more of a struggle to decide to take a break but this winter has been RELENTLESS! I definitely plan on keeping busy in my “break” because you’re right, exercise is the best way I de-stress and stay sane… I probably wouldn’t have a fiancee for much longer if I just became a bum on the couch πŸ™‚

  4. I think this is a good decision for you. Clearly you’ve thought about it a lot and already miss running, so I’m sure by the time you feel ready to run again you’ll totally love it again! And I know how you feel – all my runs are on the treadmill now due to steep snow and ice everywhere (plus these are LONG runs) and I’m not the biggest fan right now. I’m kind of cheating on running with Barre3 and I’m not really sorry about it. My first half marathon is in a week and a half so I’m my taper week and It’s really exciting! I think running is much more fun when you can do it outside and not worry about pace/distance all the time!

    • Oooh, good luck with your half! It’s a challenge but you’re going to feel like you can do anything afterwards. As the saying goes “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and I know that this little break will just make me love running even more.

  5. I am happy that you don’t feel the need to take a break from exercise in general. Here’s hoping that soon you’ll feel a pang when you see people out on the street running by.

    • Never! It’s an integral part of my life now πŸ™‚

      And I’m already feeling the pangs (especially having so many friends training for Boston) but I know that the wait will be worth it. When I come back I want to be even better & stronger.

  6. I depend on it for my own mental well being…I hope things work out for you.

  7. Kathleen, you could never be half-assed about anything. I’m proud of you for being honest and open about the struggles you’ve had. You’re going to keep going, there’s no doubt about that. This winter has been horrendous – and I’m in PA so I haven’t had it as bad here as you all have had up your way. It’s been depressing, cold, gray and miserable. Please know you aren’t alone in your feelings. When something isn’t fun anymore, you make adjustments, and things will turn around eventually. You’re fabulous as always, no matter how far or fast your run, bike, walk. You’re moving, that’s all that matters. Big hugs to you!

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