Everything happens for a reason.
Running can be like a drug. It’s addictive. It makes you feel good (for the most part). It’s habit forming… in all the right ways. So what happens when you take that drug away from your daily routine? I’m about to find out.
But before we get into life without running I should back track a few days. Before my official “running vacation” could begin I still had that damn 10 Miler. We had been talking about this race since October, I had been training for it for the last few months and yet -all I wanted was for it to disappear. I went back and forth contemplating if I should just throw in the towel and give up my number. But since I had put in the work (as half ass as some of it had been) I decided I should at least show up and see what I could do.
This was the race that was cancelled last year due to a snow storm (I was supposed to run the 5K) so when I woke up in the morning to several inches of white stuff on the ground and a two hour delay I should have known what I was in for. As we headed to number pick up rumors were flying that the 10 miler had been dropped to a 10K and sure enough- they were true. Just a half hour before the race the police had decided to shorten the race to just two laps of the 5K route. While most runners were groaning and complaining I felt a sense of relief. I may have shown up with my number on and a smile on my face, but I knew inside those 10 miles were going to be a complete disaster.
I unloaded my fuel and extra layers and got out of the 10 mile mentality. 6 is easy-peasy. As the gun went off and we headed out I realized that 6 is easy peasy… when you are not running in the frozen tundra. As I slipped and slid my way through the street trying to make a break from the other runners I realized that my watch wasn’t working. DAMMIT. I panicked and reset it, hoping that it would pick up a signal quickly. After a quarter of a mile I gave up and clicked it off, turned up my playlist and dug in. “Let’s get this over with”.
The impact of the unpaved streets was killing not only my shins, but the rest of my body as well. Every step forward felt like two steps back. I kept telling myself “As soon as you cross that finish line you’re done. You get your break.”Ahead I saw the 3 mile mark which you could cross and keep going, or turn in and finish the 5K. I took the turn. I crossed the finish line, grabbed my medal and walked away with my tail between my legs. That moment right there is why I am taking a break.
I gave myself a few seconds to pout and then something happened… I was over it. There was no sense in being upset about a race that was out of my control from the minute I got out of the car. It was done and over with. And looking back, I think that the events of that day unfolded in a way that proved once again that everything happens for a reason. Clearly the running gods knew I didn’t have it in me to run 10 miles that day. I took my medal and my race blanket (At least the swag made up for all the defective race) and I made myself cozy in the car. I told myself that the next finish line I cross will be without snow, or negative wind chills, and with a much better attitude.
And so running vacation begins. I’m trying to jam pack my next few weeks with more yoga, more bootcamp and a whole lot more swimming to keep myself active and occupied. I’m sure this doesn’t come as a shock because I know that it’s human nature to fill the void of one addiction with another. But so far I’m feeling good with my decision. It is however, only day 3.