Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I miss running.

I only know my own experience, but when I was running compulsively, I mostly only enjoyed the fact that I was burning calories. I always felt great after a run, but I had little to no motivation to get out there aside from balancing out what I had eaten that day.

Note: The more I write, the more I realize just how screwed up I was/am. This break is so, so hard but it's at least making me much more aware of my thought processes.

When I was training with a goal in mind (BQ or bust... riiight...) I had more motivation and enjoyed myself most days, but I was still at least 50% doing it for the calorie burn.

The first few weeks not running I longed for a sweaty workout, but mostly because I felt bloated and uncomfortable and thought working out would fix that. Now that I'm not exercising at all I find myself missing the endorphins, yes, and I miss the feeling of being spent after a long run, but the past few days I've noticed myself truly missing running itself. I miss how comfortable running shoes are. I miss how comfortable sports bras are. I miss listening to This American Life each week on my long run, then coming home to tell Nick about it. I miss being outside and wearing shorts (maybe I'm just ready for Spring?). I miss moving my legs and feeling winded and zoning out and rhythmic breathing and running downhill and feeling like everything is right in the world... then running uphill and having to dig deep to push myself. I want those feelings back, not just the calorie burn.

Ok, maybe I want the calorie burn still. But less now, I swear.

When I sprint around the yard with Kiwi (so cute!), it is the highlight of my day. Seeing her run and being with her reminds me that running is supposed to be fun and feel good, not be a penance for eating. It's going to make me sad if she gets to the age where she can go on runs and I won't be the one to take her. Hopefully my body is in a better place by then.

Another concern I have when I look to my future with running is the "extra" weight I'll be carrying. I attributed a lot of my increased speed this year to being lighter. I'm not 100% sure that's true, but being thinner is definitely gentler on the joints and just generally easier. What if I can never be that fast again? Or will I run faster if I'm fueling properly? I know I shouldn't even be getting ahead of myself to worry about speed, and I know I'll be basically starting from scratch when (if?) I do get back to running, but I still worry that I will never, ever BQ now. Or that I'll never be able to run another marathon at all. What if my body, hormonally, just can't handle distance running? This all seems so terribly unfair. A blogger I follow (Hungry Runner Girl) talked openly about the Female Athlete Triad and how she experienced amenorrhea when running too much and eating too little. She also had injuries that made her cut back a lot on her running. She has since been able to recover, have an adorable baby, and run crazy fast.  She's pretty much my hero. She gives me hope that someday I'll be able to get back to running for enjoyment and to reach a goal instead of for my screwed up reasons. 

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