Yeah, the whole reason for starting this blog 5 years ago and a topic I hardly ever write about (and most because I ever have time anymore #college). For any of you out there that are new, have followed for years, or really have no idea what this is, update: I’m studying abroad in Costa Rica this semester and actually will be returning in a little over a month. *sigh*
Also, I hate running.
Okay, I know that all runners out there have mentioned they hate running on a monthly, weekly, daily, heck even hourly basis depending on their training and level of fitness … but guys, I mean it this time. And not in the whole, “Oh I hate running!” way as I continue running my 10 mile long run and am laughing about random things with my friends like I usually do – cue memories of Sunday long run at Kennesaw, my favorite day of the week. Also, bagels. Mostly because of the bagels.
I don’t know the whole “first step is admitting you have a problem” process, but I’m there. I’ve finally admitted it to myself and needed somewhere to admit it, express it, and move on without hearing things like, “Oh whatever!” or, “You have so much time to train, just enjoy your time abroad!” or even, “Pues, todavía tiene mañana y puede descansar hoy.” Thanks family, random strangers, friends, and host-mamá.
Currently: sitting on the floor of my tiny bedroom in Guadalupe, Costa Rica in leggings and a matching running t-shirt after 35 minutes of hell and recognizing that 1) I actually enjoy running sometimes 2) I hate what I’ve let myself become and how I feel. Oh, and most importantly 3) I want to be a better version of myself.
So in a way I guess you could say I’m at rock bottom of my 8 years of running.
I’ve never taken this much off of running (think: I left my team in mid-December and since then only run 2 times a week – sometimes 3?), am bigger/chubbier/más gordita than ever (think: have played sports my entire life, am not running 6 times a week & am eating rice and beans multiple times everyday), and am finally being honest with myself.
So, now what?
For the past year or so running has been a chore. I’ve honestly hated it. I didn’t know if I would run the fall cross country season of my Junior year or college (spoiler: I did) and I’ve been hoping that study abroad would somehow miraculously change my life in every way – figuring out post-graduation plans, family & money stress, lack of a love life, problems with running, etc (spoiler: so far it hasn’t).
And here we are.
*cue another dramatic pause and look longingly into the future where I am super fit & successful & happy & all is roses and sunshine*
(Just kidding about that last part)
Running has always been something that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with. Reading my own posts on here about how motivated, excited, fast, and hopeful I used to be about running makes me sad. I suppose we change over the years, but I always thought that I would be a runner forever – meaning, as I thought then, that I would always love running and how it made my feel, etc.
Just a note to my naïve younger self: you were wrong.
I hate running.
But I also still love running *cue shock & surprise* I love where I can adventure to, my time alone to think and write (spoiler: my best blogs posts come after runs), and love myself. I don’t love myself when I’m not running, and that’s what I’ve realized.
So maybe the “spoiler” was a bit premature. Studying abroad and being away from my team (heck, without a team for the first time since I was 5 – soccer, basketball, running), independence in many of my normal life decisions, my friends & family that know me as a runner, and away from running … have taught me just how much I miss it.
If this is my “mid-running-life crisis” then I am okay with that – I’ve always planned on getting more into cycling/road biking, and I think 42 sounds like a great age for once my knees go bad & I can actually afford a nice bike.
From here on I don’t want to say that I am going to be faster than ever before, or more fit. I’m not going to break any school records or be lighter than I was during my stress fracture (think: not eating hardly anything & exercising a lot = not healthy). My team is important and running in college is a job, I understand and respect that.
But while I’ve been away and taken time for myself for the first time, realizing that I don’t label myself as a runner when I first meet someone new, and knowing that there are times that running really is more important than other things – like when I am back at Emory this fall for my last season(s) and back to being a student-athlete.
I’m just going to be honest with myself now because I do hate running and it sucks right now to be out of shape & chubby & live a life so different than how I’ve been the past 8 years and who I’ve become.
So, just in case you missed what I’m trying to say here: I hate running. I’ve been miserable for the past year or so and so often feel like I am “forcing” myself to go to practice each day, out the door early, and feeling so guilty for not running like I know I “should.” Running is the worst thing that’s happened to me because for the first time I truly realize (by choice, even) that I don’t know how to live without it.
And that’s okay.
Onto the next run, because you know starting from now on that I’ll be strapping up my laces & pounding the hard concrete of Costa Rica a few miles more … and a lot more miles happier after that.
*** Editor’s note: this was just my 100th post and I had no idea. Figures