I’ve never been good at sitting still (Which is an interesting trait for someone who became so sedentary and overweight? Moving on…). Friday afternoons in college my roommate and I would put on a movie (usually Mean Girls) for “nap time”. She would immediately fall asleep and I would watch the entire movie…while organizing my desk. I’m the kind of person who claims I just want a weekend with nothing to do.. and by 10am Saturday I’m bored to tears. As exhausting as it can get, I secretly crave schedules and to do lists and structure. So it didn’t come as a shock when a few days into my “running vacation” I was regretting my decision. I saw this coming a mile away.
As exhausted and burnt out as I was, I’m missing running. And training. Maybe, just maybe, there’s even a part of me that misses those miserable track workouts. I’ve been thriving off challenges and accomplishments for such a long period of time that I’ve forgotten how to just be. I miss feeling challenged. Running for fun… without my watch? Without knowing my pace? Without my iPod? Without a plan? What’s that like? I understand that all “athletes” have an off season, but it’s still hard for me to comprehend what I should do and how I should feel. My poor fiancee has been dealing with one cranky and fire-y roommate for the past few weeks. PMS? Nope- this lady just misses her runs. What makes it even more frustrating is that it seems like no one understands what I’m feeling- or they think I’m crazy and just can’t make up my mind about what I want. Which is probably true. The grass is most certainly greener on the other side.
I know this sounds ridiculous but for every day that goes by without running and training I feel like a little piece of my “runner” title is slipping away. And it scares me. That title that I have been working so very hard for. I finally felt like I could rightfully call it mine, and now I can feel it slipping through my fingers like a handful of sand.
To try and counteract this feeling I’m trying to focus all this energy and confusion and pour it into my “athlete” title. I tell myself that for every day I leave my running shoes in their cubby my shins are healing themselves. Every pose I struggle to hold in yoga is stretching those muscles that have been so overused the last few months. Every lap in the pool helps me fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. A workout is a workout.. even if my skin now permanently smells like Chlorine. I’m telling myself that everything I’m doing now is going to help me be a better runner in the long run.
And that’s where in the cloud of confusion and tears and bitchiness the smoke clears and one thing becomes very clear: I flipping love running. This break isn’t making it go away- it’s only making my love stronger. It is officially a part of my life for good. When my training plan and I finally reunite you bet your ass we’re gonna hug it out— and then we’re gonna work like we never worked before.
Until then I’ll be here… being impatiently patient.