I got attention from a lot of people for being a crazy runner dude.
I got into great shape, to the tune of losing 50lbs and running several half marathons.
I had a great time with my running group and other friends, running so much.
I made great new friends.
I saw great sights, in great places.
Running was pretty great, you could say.
I find myself now in a place where my last race was in April, my last run (albeit a run I really enjoyed) was a couple weeks ago, before that, probably longer still.
|The top of the world, otherwise known as Spencer's Butte in Eugene. Kind of my happy place and the last place I ran.|
A little over a month ago, I was pretty proud that I had strung together a 3 day running streak. It was a far cry from 450 days, but an accomplishment I felt good about. I also had my comeback race planned for soon. Then there came some life stuff, and running was off again.
Running is supposed to relieve stress, but frankly it wasn't working. Thinking about running, putting pressure on myself to run, was making it worse, actually. Running was also really painful, physically. Things that 'feed into' my running motivation are the calories I consume, visiting fun places to run, and that accomplished feeling after I'm done. Believe me, I was 'feeding' my running, I just wasn't actually running.
The stress was causing me to eat more, drink more, and lose sleep, AND I STILL WASN'T RUNNING. As of a couple weeks ago, I decided to remove the stress of trying to run. Now, it's not all rosey and nice at this point, but it is better. I've gone from planning races and runs in my head, to just kind of waiting for something to happen. Maybe I'll run soon, maybe not. Maybe I'll race before the end of the year, maybe not. When you've plotted runs and races steadily for a couple of years, this is a strange feeling to try and be comfortable with.
I'm still a fatty, having put on much of the weight I lost. I miss my run group friends, who, by the way, I'm not avoiding. It's just that, when you're not running, you kinda don't see them as much. One of the ONLY things I can think of that has been good for me, physically, about not running, is that I think I may have put my several-months-old foot/achilles issue nearly behind me.
When I was at my peak, September of last year (really? almost a full year ago?) I never thought I would be on a yo-yo like this. I envisioned a lifetime of healthy, fitnessy, all cut-up me after my big PR. Not this guy who can't run 8 minute miles any more, (let along those swift 7 minute miles I was doing last September), and who has a belly like the pillsbury dough boy.
The things I know now, and that I'm ok with, are that I won't make my goal of a 3:10 marathon this year (I did run my first marathon, try it sometime, not easy!). I won't run a 1:30 half marathon again any time soon, I won't be back down to PR race weight any time soon, and life in general won't ever be the same.
I'm ok with that. Life sucks sometimes, and honestly, I think there have been some extraordinarily crappy things that converged all at once. My only regret is that I wish I could have handled it a little more gracefully, and not fallen so hard.
Hopefully soon I'll be back to that crazy runner dude, I think for now, I'm ok with just being that crazy dude. The running will happen.