So I have been struggling. Yes, I know, I really need to stop dwelling on my half marathon performance (though I will say this: I am mostly over it. I did it, I finished, that’s all that matters. Mostly.) because it is affecting my mindset when it comes to my running, especially when it comes to running with friends or my sister (And yes, even after yesterday’s phenomenal run. As Jessica pointed out, sometimes those perfect runs are few and far in between but they are awesome when they happen. Yes, they are, but they are also (sometimes) few and far in between)
When discussing a #rundate for tomorrow morning with my sis and friend Steph, we starting talking routes. I suggested a fun route we haven’t done this year that we did all summer long last year. It was our half-marathon training route. Once mileage came up and someone suggested we run the whole thing (about 9-10 miles), I instantly panicked. Froze. Fear took over.
“I can’t do this. I should just run alone. Or with M. I need to run with M.”
Now I realize that I am now using M as my crutch in this case, thinking that the only way I will do okay and stay calm is with him.
Why am I sliding back? Why am I letting fear take control?
If I am not a racer, why am I feeling so anxious and scared? I thought I kicked this. But maybe I haven’t. Maybe I need more time. I actually don’t know what I need.
Where do I go from here?
I feel like I am mourning what I thought I was. I am now dwelling on what this change means for me as a runner. Not. a. racer. As much as I want to be. Right now, I am calling myself a RUNNER, not a RACER.
Part of me wonders if that’s a cop-out. That I am just shying away from what’s hard. And then part of me wonders if that’s what got me into this situation in the first place (knowing that this race was less than ideal, pretty close to when I got my running mojo back AND super challenging, hilly, and in the middle of summer, when humidity saps my breathing).
Maybe in a way, I am mourning what I feel I got robbed of on Sunday. Not finishing a race in the way I wanted to, not crossing proudly as my sister did. We didn’t experience it together. (but cue, the 13.1 rundate!)
Am I unfairly judging myself a week later? Maybe. Am I dwelling on something I cannot change? Absolutely. Can I change my mindset so it’s less fearful and more happy when I run?
I’m not sure. I want to. I need to. I would love to. It feels like a weight around my neck again, a mental stumbling block that is crippling me.
Where do I go from here? How do I fix this – AGAIN?
And part of me wonders is if I am mostly mourning having something *not* in common with Jess anymore (to an extent).
I know you guys must think it’s weird, or even unnecessary even, that we do pretty much everything together. But it’s not because we copy each other. Or that I do what she does or she does what I do (workout-wise. I mean, I submitted us for the barre n9ne challenge, getting us both seriously – and happily – addicted and she got me into running. for example). It’s because we simply enjoy doing as much as possible together. It gives us joy. It gives us things to do together since we no longer work together for the first time in oh, 8 years. And we both just plain love to sweat, love to work out, and love to set and reach goals together. It’s the experience. Doing it together. (so why am I suddenly afraid to run *with* her?)
I also need to admit to myself that she is simply just better at racing than I am. That this is something different for us. That we aren’t on the same wavelength on something for the first time. That part of what I’ve identified with myself is no longer. She is a racer. I am not. And that’s okay. It should be okay. So why does it feel so sad for me? Why do I feel that familiar pull towards wanting to keep working towards half marathons? Like this one?
It’s affected me more than I thought…that part of my identity feels just slightly changed but changed enough to throw me into a bit of a mental tailspin.
But I am still a runner. I am still focused on challenging myself. I am still doing everything that makes me happy.
But the premise of racing I liked – working towards a goal – is what feels missing. I need a new challenge. (short term, it’s this!). I thrive with challenges and goals.
So what is it? What do I do? I’m still doing the barre n9ne challenge (unofficially, yet officially…I mean, we *are* the barre n9ne spokespeople after all!), I’m still running. But what’s the goal? What’s my next ‘thing?’
I don’t have an answer for that. But I want something. My mind is in overdrive. A few things float to mind, just maybe.
Where do I go from here?
This post has ping-ponged all over the place. I’ve rewritten it three different ways. I guess this is my way of ‘blogging out’ what’s been flitting through my mind lately. If it doesn’t make sense, forgive me. If you think I’m talking nonsensical, I probably am. But that’s okay. I just gotta get this out and move forward.