This is most assuredly not the only time I have written the “damn it’s hard to get back into running” post, nor is it going to be the last. So, if this post seems like it is repeating a few I have written in the past, well, that’s because it is.
When I achieve huge amazing goals in my athletics, as I did in Hawaii a few months ago, for some reason it is difficult for me to just go practice a few times a week to maintain my strength and power. In this instance, it’s with my running. When I was in Kauai, I went on an amazing trail run with a couple I met at the top of the island. It was so amazing that it some how made going on normal runs boring. I hate that. When I came back to LA I tried to run a few times and just simply didn’t want to. It’s almost as if without a goal in mind it’s super difficult for me to get up and run. Cycling is different however, I can just go out with my music and ride. With running though there seems to be some sort of self competition for me to continue. When I let this get a hold of me and I don’t go out on my maintenance runs throughout the week I lose all that I had and need to basically start over.
I keep telling myself that I can just go run up mountains like I could a few months ago but that’s just not the case and I could actually injure myself were I to try. This past week, granted it was super hot, I have had to take walk brakes on short 4-5 mile runs. *angry face* Not to come across as a dick, but for me, that is a shorter run, one I used to use for maintenance. This leads me to the important part of this here post, the humbling part. By needing to walk on these short runs, I realize that even though I used to be able to run them like nothing, they still are difficult and far and always have been. Even if I don’t think they are. That’s super important for me to remember. A 4 – 5 mile run still means I am running 4 – 5 miles, even if i get good at it. It is still a lot.
One of the big things I am doing with myself lately is realizing what it means to be human. Realizing that I am not some invincible machine. I am a human and I need to practice love and compassion with myself every day, because what if that is the real fuel I need to use to achieve my goals in sports and everywhere else.
For the past few days, as I have run every other day getting set up for the re-approach into mountain running, I have done my best to not take for granted the smaller runs. I have done my best to smile and say “hi!” to everyone I pass. I have allowed myself my walk breaks so that I am not over doing it. I am practicing one foot in front of the other slow running. More like slow pacing so that by going shorter today, slower today, easier today, I will be more willing, less sore, and far less exhausted and therefore way more motivated to ride my bike the day after and run the day after that.
This might be a big key, now that I think about it. Maybe when I go on these crazy huge goal achieving runs, I put so much of my self out there physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that I burn myself out and have nothing left for the maintenance runs in the weeks following. If that’s the case, then the solution would be….the practive of love nad compassion towards myself through calm pacing! Ha! would you look at that. Funny how things line themselves up right?
I’ll practice that for a while and report back. Wish me luck!