Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Running Crisis

I am having a running identity crisis.

After my lackluster half marathon (not lackluster by my time, but more of how I felt during it) I have not enjoyed running. Granted it has not yet been two weeks and the weather has been cruddy (again), but I got new shoes and have run maybe 4 times and only 1 of those runs was good. And it was my first morning at the beach this past weekend, so obviously it would be good:).

I have a race coming up this weekend, and it is typically my favorite race (the Monument 10k- the race that is why I became a runner), but I am just not excited about it this year. It may rain, and my body is not feeling good or fresh. There are also many races coming up in the next two months that I typically enjoy, and I don't know if I should sign up for any of them.

I am hopeful that more spring-like temperatures will change my mood, but I am realizing the difference between running to run versus running for a race. I tend to get obsessive about things and all these recent races have made me treat running more like a chore and less like something I enjoy. I get stressed if I don't run X amount of mileage in a week or have a few bad runs in a row. I enjoyed my long runs with groups while training for my most recent half because they were slow and with friends. Perhaps I need to cut back on my speed to get back my running joy. It is hard, though, because I have PR'ed so much in the last year that I keep pushing myself to keep up that trend.

Health is a fickle thing. You're told to do this and not that and have to figure out what works best for YOU. However, to keep up your improvements you have to keep doing what is working and upping the intensity of your workouts. I did a random P90X 30 minute video off of youtube on Sunday and I was SORE. It got me thinking about health and often should I be sore from exercise? If I don't get sore will I not see the best results? Would I even want to exercise as much as I do if I was constantly in pain? I can tell you now that I wouldn't- I don't mind being sore once in a while, but I want to feel good as the result of working out and not be in pain. Exercise to me is more a mental release than anything else. I obviously enjoy the health benefits, but I know I wouldn't keep up with something that was killing me. I am a chronic cardio person with a little of abs and arms/weights mixed in, but cardio doesn't typically make me sore unless I am upping my long distance runs. Maybe I need to change up my routine more and incorporate more weight bearing exercises.

So who am I and what should I do? Am I a runner?  A racer? An exerciser? A health nut? I don't know. I am going to attempt to listen to my body and my moods the next few weeks and not commit to any races until closer to their date. It is more expensive to register last minute, but I am ok with that if it means really committing to the races. Perhaps I should join a gym again to change up my workouts, too.

Has anyone else had a crisis like this? Tips? Advice? Meds? Should I just increase my wine intake and chill?:)

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