I love to run. Except when I don't love it.
The past couple months I have not loved to run. I am training for a marathon and it has felt like a job more than a hobby. And definitely not a hobby that was fun.
I have some things going on physically right now that have forced me to slow down this week. And, as usual, when I slow down I have time to take a hard look at what I'm doing and the decisions that I'm making.
Somewhere in the past couple of years I've let my perspective shift. In my training if I wasn't going for faster than I needed to be going farther. And if not farther, then faster. So, when this marathon cycle came along all I could think was that I had to go for a PR. I have put so much pressure on myself to do it that I've literally obsessed over my key workouts to the point I'm driving my own self crazy. Whether it was a marathon pace run or a lactate threshold run I was worrying and justifying and bargaining in my mind in the days leading up to it. If I hit the workout then I chided myself for being so silly and worrying so much. If I didn't then I berated myself for not being mentally strong enough.
I've been joking with friends that somewhere along the line my mind must've gotten confused and maybe I believed that my performance actually mattered in the grand scheme of my life. Like, I'm trying to make the Olympic Trials? (um, NO!). Or I have sponsorships riding on my results (again, NO!). I joked about how silly I was being but in the back of my mind I still wanted to perform.
Why? What makes me tick like this that I can't just do something and be good at it. That deep down I want to be the best. And I've let that become my identity. Lacey The Fast Runner. That is how I feel worthy. I've let it define me.
And I can sit here and wax poetic forever about how very ridiculous/pathetic that is but right now I'm so deep in thoughts and emotions that its difficult. I could list 10 things immediately that should come higher than that but I suck at most of them so running was the easiest one to grab onto.
So, right now that's where I am. I'm forcing myself to back off of Peak to Creek training. I want to get back to loving my runs again. Being joyful again. And I also need to prepare myself for the day I can no longer run because, sadly, that day may be coming faster than I want.
So, dear friends, when you ask me how my running is or what I'm training for an I mumble a reply please understand its not you, it me. And I'm trying to figure out exactly what that means.