Argh. I felt a lump in my throat when I began writing this post. That's how sad I am about this decision. However, I KNOW it's BEST for my body and mind.
Running and I are separating.
Sure, you may read this and think that it is really silly to be upset about. Just hang with me.
Anyone who knows me, knows I have been a big runner for the past four years. It started when I moved to Charlottesville, with the treadmill and television. I've told you a bit about how I was afraid to run outside, mostly do to C'ville being such an active community. I was simply intimidated by the "runner bodies." You know the type- tall, lean and long legged. I'm 5'5, my legs are muscular and solid like my dads, I'm pear shape with a pretty average build. My body speaks little of being a "runner."
Once my roommates & friends (who were all runners) encouraged me to jump off the treadmill and try out the roads, there was no turning back. They were right, it's SO much better!
The week before we got married I finished my first race; The Charlottesville 10-Miler. It was the first time since high school soccer training (if ever) that I had run that far. I craved it more, and more.
That summer, I trained for my first marathon and completed it in the Fall. Although I had an IT band injury, I allowed it to heal a bit and started hitting the pavement again.
Not only did I enjoy the "runners high", I loved getting outside, feeling like I was accomplishing something, always challenging myself, and even being able to say "I ran x amount of miles." While traveling, running was one of my favorite activities! Such a fun way to explore.
Most importantly, it was also a time to bond with friends & meet new ones. Some of my closest friendships are the ones that have been formed while hitting the trails together. It's what I valued most about being able to run.
But, running has consequences. I found that out the hard way when I got plantars fascias last month. It was my second time getting "injured" from running.
My body has been telling me to take a break for the past two months, but I haven't done a good job of listening. I LOVE being ABLE to run. I love that my body and mind can do it. It's the small victories of conquering more mileage or the huge hills in the distance that continually push the envelope. It's also an exercise I enjoy, a way to give Maizy exercise, catch up with friends, it helps keep me in shape & my heart healthy.
As anyone who has run before knows,"the runners high" is a real thing and it's hard to get out of your system once you've tasted it.
THAT is why it's hard to take a break. It's something I love. I hear my dad talk about how he could never run again because of all of the running he did when he was young, he hurt his body. That story is repeated 100 times over by many people I know, always warning "be careful," "listen to your body," "take it easy."
Running helped teach me that I could do ANYTHING that I put my mind to. I feel like I'm failing by walking away from it. Like I'm letting go of a long time friend. I realize this sounds dramatic, but when you go through years of your life where your days and weeks are partially planned by when you can run and/or exercise, there is a huge mind shift that has to take place. Also a huge swallowing of pride. Neither is enjoyable.
Tomorrow I'll talk about the other activities I've been doing to mix up my work outs, and how I'm feeling since I gave running a break, physically and mentally.