I had some expectations after moving to Arizona. One of the biggest ones was a renewed love for running. I expected I’d have a change of heart, considering weather wouldn’t be a barrier for me. I could train to my heart’s content, get in those long miles, reconnect with the girl who planned on running a marathon in every state, just a few short years ago.
And while it’s true, the weather here is phenomenal, and I do love running, I’ve come to a realization.
I hate long runs.
I hate saying it. Admitting it makes my heart heavy, but I also feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders in being honest with myself. I’ve tried really hard to recapture those feelings I’d had while training for my marathons, but I can’t do it. I’ve lost my marathon mojo.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy lacing up my running shoes. Getting out there and busting out a 3 miler, a 4 miler, even a 5er at times feels good. But as the miles creep up, I feel… bored. Restless. Even annoyed. Most of my long runs are on weekends, and all I can think about is what my family is doing back home, how we could have gone on an outing somewhere.
I respect running immensely. I respect the runners, I know how hard it is to get out there and give it your all, especially while training for a race. There’s always a give and take, and for some reason, I just don’t have it in me, to give anymore. I haven’t in a long time.
So, where do I go from here?
I’ve been bouncing around, trying different things, trying to get back into long distance running, trying to find what works for me, what makes me feel good, what makes me feel healthy. Finding what works, what doesn’t, and coming to a point where I have to accept it.
A couple of years ago, I’d run across a website from a woman who’d been struggling with her own expectations with health. She’s my age, has two kids, like me, and although she was doing everything “right” (exercising, eating healthy, etc.) she still felt tired. She didn’t have much energy, and looking at her, you’d figure she was doing just fine, but inside, she didn’t feel fine. I’ve been feeling the same way.
She decided to invest in weight training, and reverse dieting, and it changed her life. I’d never heard of reverse dieting, until reading about her journey. At the time, I was very interested in what she was doing, but I told myself, “You’re a runner, not a weight lifter.” While I’m not sure the reverse dieting aspect of things is the right formula for me, yet, I do want to incorporate a lot more strength training into my life, because I feel as though I’ve lost my strength as I’ve gotten older. And from everything I’ve read/researched online, weights are a great addition, especially the older we get.
My husband is doing it, too. He’s joined a fitness challenge at work, and it’s really nice having him motivate me. He’s the one who keeps me on track, now, and we’re working together to stay healthy, not just for us, but for our kids, too. Bike rides. Walks. Basketball. Hiking. Stuff we can do together, on the weekends. Family time.
I will still run. Running will always be a part of who I am, a second skin, but I want to run because I love it and I enjoy it. Sticking to the lower miles right now will help me to keep those passions alive, vs. killing the drive. The new expectation I have for myself, where my health is concerned, is to expect that there will be changes. That I won’t be who I was five years ago. That I will change, my wants/need will change, and I have to change, too, in order to get the most out of my health. And that it’s totally okay.