This post has taken me a while to put into words. I’ve been thinking about this for some time now and have had a few conversations with my runner friends about it….it’s gonna be a long one and I hope this post doesn’t offend anyone because that is totes not my intention here. (xoxo, LYLAS!)
Last year I signed up for the Chicago Marathon. I remember being nervous just hitting that ‘submit’ button during registration. Then training started and I picked a training program I found online, began training immediately and followed that thing to a T. After making it a little more than half-way through the program I found out about my freakish injury and had to call it quits.
Little did I know that would be a blessing in disguise for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love running with every ounce of my soul. There’s no better feeling then heading outside after a long day at work and pounding my feet to the pavement. It’s magical how an amazing run can turn your entire day around. What I don’t like is feeling like I have to run. If you know me (or have read my blog a while), you know I’m a free spirit. I don’t like feeling like I have to do something and I don’t really like having things planned out. Which essentially is what training for a marathon is.
What I’ve realized from reflecting back on the almost year (I KNOW) since I found out about my injury, is that I didn’t like marathon training. I hated it in fact. I hated knowing I had to run X amount of miles everyday, that Tuesday was my rest day and Friday was a cross-training day. I hated the fact that I woke up on Friday already nervous for my long run on Saturday and that I spent all day Friday worrying about my long run the next day. I hated being sore and hungry 24/7 and most of all I hated feeling like I wasn’t running because I loved it but because I had to.
When you’re in the midst of marathon training and you find out you have an injury that requires surgery to allow you to run more than a couple miles one time a week, it feels like the world is going to end. All that time, effort and hours spent basically felt a waste. So yes, I was pissed. What I came to find out though is that I don’t like running long distances. And that’s OK.
What I do like is running based on my own free-will and running distances between 3-10 miles. Just because I’m not training for a marathon doesn’t mean I’m not a runner. Just because I don’t love running long distances doesn’t make me any less of a blogger either. I love to run, therefore I am a runner. Who decides what distance accounts to someone being a runner?
It drives me insane when I hear runners say “oh it’s only three miles, I don’t think that even counts.” Uh I’m here to tell you it does. Any amount counts. If you run 13 miles vs 13.1, you didn’t finish that half-marathon. Say you stop at 26 miles vs 26.2 in that marathon-you clearly did not finish it. So whether I run .1 miles or 16 miles, it all counts. For people who are just getting into working out or running would you discount their progress just because they can only run .25 without stopping? No you would’t because you know how awesome it is that anyone ever can run any distance at all.
So that is why I am choosing not to get my surgery. The thought of being in a boot, in physical therapy and out of working out for 6+ months just so I can run a few miles more than I can now is just not worth it to me at this moment in my life. Do I wish I could run whatever distance I want, however often I want? Absolutely, no doubt in my mind about that. But for right now, running a few miles 1-2 times a week combined with fitness classes and other machines at the gym is making me immensely happy.
I may not run often and I may not run too far but I still love running and I’m still a runner. Don’t make me feel bad about that and please don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I don’t love distance running and that is more than OK. Again, you do you, I’ll do me. Not every runner and/or blogger has to be a marathoner or half-marathoner. I’m both and I don’t run either. And I’m awesome, and so are you.
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!