my running thoughts
This morning I found myself awake early, and not because I had to go to work. This rarely happens, so I opted to put my staaanky running clothes on and lace up my shoes and get out there before this afternoon’s sweltering temperatures arrive. With my water in one hand, my pepper spray in the other, I set out hoping that my legs felt as good as I did mentally. Unfortunately, it was not the case. Almost instantly I had pain in my left knee and a weird ache in my elbow. I focused a bit on my form – I’m pigeon-toed so if I’m not intentionally thinking of my toes pointing forward, sometimes it can cause knee pain for me. I made sure I was picking up my feet, having appropriate strides, head up, shoulders back, core strong. It helped a bit – I felt strong.
For a moment. I completed about 1.25 miles and came upon a shaded bench by a closed store front and popped a squat. I sat there and thought. I thought about the pain in my knee, my tight throat, the aches in my feet. I thought about how I felt like a failure that I needed to sit – and even more of one because I already allowed myself to walk up a very steep hill instead of pushing through it. I thought about how I don’t even make enough money to buy new running shoes, when I really need them. Failure. I sat there asking myself, “Why the hell do I do this to myself? Why do I push myself to run, to do things I clearly am not capable of? Things my body does not want to do and is asking me not to do.. Why am I torturing myself?” In those brief moments, I didn’t answer all my questions. A woman twice my age and carrying a lot more weight than me trotted on by, looking strong and I felt like a failure once again. But, for some reason, instead of getting up and turning towards home, I got up and continued on my route.
I didn’t think much else on the rest of my route, except for focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. I got home, posted my workout to DM and my good friend Jenny J. asked me what I took from this run.. and I had no answer. So I asked myself again, why do I do this? Why do I put myself through all this? Well, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I can’t. I struggle daily with depression – with getting out of bed just to even pee, let alone going for a strenuous run. But on those days that I do, and feel like I’m making no progress, I wonder why I ever try again. But then, I remember – I’m a woman. I have body issues. I run because some days I like it- some days it feels so right, so good – but most days, I run because I want to fit into my jeans still. I have awful discipline when it comes to food – my depression leaves me hungry for days or has me constantly craving sugar. I can’t say no. But then I feel guilty afterward and make a mental note to add bleachers to my workout for tomorrow..
I’m a part of this website, DM or dailymile.com. It’s pretty awesome. Friends from all over encouraging each other on their daily workout.. but there is one downfall, for me anyway. I start comparing myself to everyone. I was even thinking on my run today while I was sitting that so many of my friends would have pushed through what I was feeling. And on top of pushing through it, in the time that I had been sitting there they would have completed another two miles. I can’t not compare myself. But I am not a speedy runner – no matter how badly I want to, no matter how badly I push through my own pain, my own workouts. Maybe someday I’ll get to a pace I’m finally happy with.. but for now, I’m not even tracking it. A lot of days I want to leave DM because I’m not an elite runner or under an 8min pace or easily turning out 10+ miles.
But you know what I am doing? I’m getting out of bed to run. Not every day, but some days. Hopefully most days. I run because I can. Some day, I want to be happy with my body – and I really should be. I’m not fat by any means, but I am my worst critic.
I may feel like a failure, but one thing I am NOT is a quitter. I will keep trying. I will keep working at it. It won’t be easy. It certainly won’t be pretty.. And maybe someday I’ll be able to buy new shoes so it will at least hurt a little less : )