Monday, November 13, 2017

Creative November Challenge Day #13: Running woes

It was an odd weekend. Since I had an extra day off (today being a holiday for us government workers), I thought there's be plenty of time to do all the things I wanted to do - cooking, running, yoga, reading, painting, writing, and photography. Instead, most of the weekend got eaten up walking and playing with Jackie, discussing renovation ideas with Husband and tackling various chores. As we prepared to return to the city tonight, I was feeling more than a little frustrated that the time had gone so quickly and I had so little to show for it.

It wasn't a total loss. I managed to do some reading yesterday - finishing Hillbilly Elegy and making my way about halfway through Fifteen Dogs - and this morning I did some baking so we had fresh cheese biscuits for breakfast, then spent most of the afternoon practicing yoga, writing and painting.

My frustration mostly stemmed from the fact that I didn't run all weekend. I headed out first thing Saturday morning intending to run 5k but only got about a hundred metres from the house before the cold, windy conditions prompted me to turn back. Since I hadn't remembered to bring warm gear with me, I thought I'd try again Sunday or today when I hoped the weather would be better. As it turned out, the weather was better but still not warm enough to run without the headband and gloves I'd left in the city.  

After skipping my run today, I have to say I felt pretty discouraged and disappointed with myself - until it occurred to me that maybe it's time to stop beating myself up just because my running's not going as well as I'd like it to. The reality is I've trained consistently most of this year, despite health and other issues - so not running for a week or two isn't really such a bit deal. In fact, it might even be a good thing if I use the break to rest and make plans for the winter season.

The trouble is I don't feel like a "real" runner if I'm not running 3-4 times a week, including a long weekend run - which is ridiculous when I stop to think about it. After all, I've run regularly for more than 15 years now and completed dozens of races - including 8 full marathons and a 50k ultra. Not a real runner? Clearly, I need a more sensible definition.

Given my age and how little time and energy I have for training these days, it's no surprise running feels harder than it used to but that doesn't mean my running days are over. It just means I may need to change things up a bit, set more realistic goals and be patient as I work towards getting back into shape this winter - hopefully, with Jackie along for company on at least some of my runs. We've only tackled short distances together so far but she really seems to enjoy it so I'm hopeful she'll be inspiring me to get out the door a lot more often when she's older. Until then, I'll try being a little more gentle and patient with myself and trust that my inner runner will feel more like hitting the road after a few weeks of rest.

Here's a video of Jackie on the beach last weekend. As you can tell, she loves to run. I hope I can teach her to run slowly enough to let me keep up!

1 comment:

  1. The 'real runner' thing is a chimera. Nobody ever thinks they are a real runner, as far as I can tell from my limited exposure to runners. Run what you feel like running and enjoy it. If you aren't enjoying it take a break or do something else for fitness or whatever you were running for. That meditation thing sounds pretty good, and my first attempts at it were fun. And I'll tell you a secret. Even retired, you'll be running out of time.