Running status: it’s complicated

I’m in a weird place with running lately. If we were Facebook official, our status would be “it’s complicated.” This is not to say that my relationship with running has ever been easy. I’ve always been honest with myself – and hopefully with all of you – that it’s not something I love to do. I don’t like to get sweaty or out of breath. I usually feel like I’m slogging through mud rather than actually running. But the reward of getting done with a run – the sense of accomplishment, the racking up of miles, the being done  – was enough to get me out there on a regular basis.

That hasn’t been the case lately. And I keep saying “lately” when really I mean the last year and a half, maybe even longer. I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve been on a run since Bug came into my life nearly a year ago. Before he was born, I told myself I would run a half marathon by the time 2013 came to an end. I completely meant it at the time, and yet Mister Jess is running a half on December 29th and I will not be joining him. So, 2013 will have come and gone without me running a half marathon, or really running much at all.

I am okay with being honest about this with all of you. I want to be honest. I want you to know that I sometimes struggle to talk here, because I don’t know what to say. There is not much exercise happening with me, although my life is moving at warp speed: I am a full-time employee, a full-time wife, a full-time mom. I am rushing from thing to thing, from person to person, place to place to place. The small amounts of time I have left are patched together and used on things for myself so that I can unwind, not think. Running is not one of those things for me.

Someday, I hope that I can find even a piece of the passion my fellow Scoot ladies have for it. They inspire me to want it, even though I don’t right now. I hope that someday I love what running does for me (though I will never love being sweaty). I sure do love the idea of it: the simplicity of it, the strange zen of it, the community. I haven’t ever experienced a sense of community with anything else like I have with running. Yes, it’s a one-person sport, but it’s far from solitary.

In the meantime, I hope you will all be patient with me while I clod along here, sometimes struggling for words that will resonate with you. And even if I’m never really a runner, I will always, always be a cheerleader, to the dear friends I write with here and to all of you who read and comment and give us your time.

Have you ever gone through a running rut? How did you get out of it? 

15 thoughts on “Running status: it’s complicated

  1. Everyone goes through running ruts. Take a rest break. Maybe a week or two. Give the mind and body some time to relax and rediscover the passion.

    • Thanks, Joey!

      Funnily enough, a few of my friends mentioned wanting to get together to go running on a regular basis. Like I said, as much as it’s a one-person sport, it’s not solitary. I think part of what I’ve been missing is that camaraderie of running, so I think that coupled with the accountability of other people relying on me might help get me back into it. Here’s hoping!

  2. Most of my life has been one running rut after the next. Then, something just clicked. “Training” for and running my first half marathon really secured my place in the running world solidly. For once. For now. You just have to do what you love, or find a way to love something you thought you couldn’t (slowing pace / finding a new place to run / running with a friend / whatever!). Good luck! And, I love honesty! None of us is perfect in life or exercise…someone ought to admit it!

    • Thanks, Megan! I love what you said about finding a way to love something you thought you couldn’t. That really resonates with me! It’s all about finding what works for you, and I think I’ve yet to find what that is in relation to running. I guess that means I have to try to find it, but that’s probably half the fun. 🙂

    • I totally agree. I am very good at making myself feel guilty about things I don’t need to, but that’s a bad habit of mine. I want to love it but it’s just not there for me right now. I think I’ll get back to it, though!

  3. You’re definitely not alone – I’ve been in a running rut lately, too. I’m not able to prioritize running over my full time job, part time job, and family obligations, which makes it hard for me to stick to a training schedule. I’ve been feeling really burned out lately, feeling like my mile times aren’t really improving, and that I’m constantly finding myself injured – hopefully it’s just a phase, and the excitement will pick up again soon for both of us! It’s always good to hear you’re not the only one going through stuff like this, though.

    • Absolutely. That’s part of the reason I wanted to share – in case anyone reading the post felt the same way. I hope that you’re able to find a way back to inspiration, whether it’s through running or something else!

  4. I feel like I could have written this, word for word. Been in the same place for almost a year. No real umph to run. Working, mothering, wifing, all of it takes a toll.

    • Totally. All of our roles leave little time for extracurriculars. It’s hard, but also important for us to carve out time that’s our own. It’s okay if that time isn’t spent on running or even exercise (although it would be great if it was! Endorphins and all that). We just have to figure out a way to rejuvenate. Hopefully we can both get to that place soon!

  5. I’ve gone through both self originated running ruts and injury, you can’t run ruts. You’ve seen me through them both. Running will always be here, that’s the great thing about running. But your son will only be 11 months once and your job will always demand your attention. That’s just how things go and not just in regards to running but all extras. We do what we can with what we are given. And I’m super grateful that I was given you.

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