Confessions of a Struggling Runner

 I want to run. To do what I always do, have always done, for the last three years of my life. Escape, flee into the shadows, run happy, run free. But this time, I’m tired of running because I have to.πŸ’œ I want to run for me, for the love of the run.

Confession, I don’t think the marathon distance is for me anymore, or at  least at this time. And I’m not even upset about it. I loved E V E R Y T H I N G about my first go around at it. I found myself ((and even wrote a blog post about that awhile ago)). I found my true strength during that training cycle, and it felt awesome. But this time, this time is so different, and at the end of my list of reasons why is a simple, “I’m just not into it.”

Now let’s not confuse that with I don’t love running anymore, because I do. But I love it for so many different reasons and so many different ways since becoming a mommy. I love the miles with my boy in tow, pushing the stroller. I love the speed workouts, and random “I feel like running” runs.πŸ’™ I just don’t love the long runs. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but it always seems like God is telling me that it’s just not my thing, or my time.

Among the crazy list of reasons why I’m not meant to be a marathon runner at this time is my son. This is by no means a jab at any other mama out there, it’s just my own selfish reason, but I want to spend my weekends and every free moment with my boy. During the week, I only get to see him for a few hours in the evening. Working again has taken its toll on me emotionally. I miss him. I miss him terribly during the day. And every time I have to spend a few hours away from him on the weekend, it rips at my heart strings. And before you say, “why don’t you run when he’s asleep, or before he wakes up?”, I do try to run during the week while he takes his evening nap. BUT I don’t have the luxury of a baby that sleeps through the night. He’s in his crib, in his own room, but no matter how many nights, weeks, months we spend sleep training, he just doesn’t do it. And it’s okay. He is unpredictable through the night, and sometimes, most times, he is up in the time frame I would have to workout in the morning. And then sleepless nights don’t go well with intense training; mentally, physically, or emotionally. Now, you might be thinking, “Then why don’t you take him with you when you run?”. I DO! And they are my favorite runs. But I also don’t want to force him to spend over an hour in the stroller, when he’s still learning to crawl and figure this world out for himself. I want him to have time to play with mommy, doing the things he loves, not being forced into a stroller. 

I also find myself missing my other loves, like yoga. I used to go to yoga and hot yoga eveey other day. Now, between momming, training, working, and everything in between, I simply don’t have enough time to do it all; running, yogaing, lifting, cycling, cross training, cooking, sleeping, hiking. Shall I keep going?πŸ˜‘

Postpartum running is ridiculously hard. It’s been so frustrating. I’ve made tremendous progress since being cleared, but with short runs and half marathon distances. When it comes to long runs, I struggle. It isn’t getting easier. And for some reason, it seems every long run of this training cycle something goes wrong, or something happens that causes me to get in my head and then I can’t get out. The longest I’ve gone without splitting up a run is 15 miles and that happened today. I’ve done 16, but split it into two. Between the weather, getting sick, being a mom, weekend plans, and then silly things like creepy guys on the trail, and getting lost on runs, I’ve just had enough. 

Like today for example, I planned a route and instead of uploading it to my Garmin, or using the map on Strava, I wrote the directions on a piece of paper. It worked out just fine until I reached a fork in the road, or none of the roads had street name signs. πŸ“And about three plus miles into my run, I got fed up with my Garmin. It was telling me my pace was 12 minutes, it didn’t matter if I sprinted or stopped, it stayed on 12. And it was messing with me mentally. So I don’t even know if I was actually three plus miles into my run. I wanted to quit. I texted my hubby in an all out annoying rage. Thankfully, he was able to walk me through trying to fix the problem. And wouldn’t you know, the stubbornness in me didn’t want to stop my watch and start it again because then I would lose the total mileage of the run. But I listened, and it seemed to help. So on I go again. But with none of the roads being labeled, I had to keep stopping to check Google maps. I was getting so frustrated with the stop and go. It’s so darn hard. But here I was in the middle of nowhere, so I had to keep going. It started raining, but forward I went. I eventually found a groove, and got out of my head for a short while before those dreaded stomach pains came. It only meant I was going to have to go to the bathroom soon. BUT WHERE? I’m in farm country. It’s all wide open fields. So I ran/walked until I found a familiar place and cut my run short to make it back to my car. No lie, I almost pooped in my pants. πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’© At least I got to spend some time with the cows!πŸ„

Anyways, I’m not giving up on marathons, or maybe even ultras in my future. And I will finish the NJ marathon in a few weeks. I’m just going to take it day by day, and get back to running because I want to, not because I have to. We shall see where training for Chicago takes me come this summer. But for now, I’m dipping my toes into the Tri life. Yup, that’s right, it’s finally happening. I’ve always been run, run, run. Then I became run, bike, run. And now, I’m excited to become swim, bike run. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for my first Sprint triathlon. It’s time to change gears up for a little and redirect my focus!πŸ€— Who knows, maybe I’ll get hooked into this.

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2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Struggling Runner

  1. I loved this post …It was so real…And strange enough, minus the newborn it’s some of the struggles Ive had and can relate…Between work, school, and church responsibility and weather my long runs haven’t gone past 15 either and I’m frustrated at that and I’m frustrated that it frustrates me! Do def understand your thoughts …Gotta do what you enjoy…This summer I will be starting to bike some on a new mountain bike someone is blessing me with

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  2. I feel for you! I’m going through a weird transitional period now too (I decided to quit long distance running for other reasons – all detailed on my blog). I still have RnR Nashville half, but that’s it for me and then I’m keeping my runs under an hour in time for the most part. I wasn’t a running regularly when my daughter was younger and I’ve always been home with her, but I can totally see how you feel the way you do. You’re such a good mama! Do what makes you happy πŸ˜ŠπŸ’—.

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