Training has started again for my next half marathon. Some days I grumble as I put my shoes on and I don’t want to go, but I know that once I am done I will feel so much better and energized. Sometimes mid-run I want to quit, I get a pain in my side, or I develop this fictitious knee pain that convinces my already wavering self to throw in the towel and go home. I don’t want to be like this. I have trained for years and I would like to tell you that this feeling goes away after years of running, training and doing many different types of workouts, but sometimes it creeps up on you, no matter how many motivational quotes you post for yourself on your Facebook page.
I’ve tried a lot of things – boot camps, boxing classes, pilates, Bikram yoga and I always come back to running. No matter how long I’ve been away, I always get the urge to return. Long distance running in an amazing thing to me. There isn’t just one ‘type’ of person that can do it. In high school I was told that I couldn’t be a sprinter because I didn’t have the right body type. Now in hindsight I might not have been the next Donovan Bailey (mostly because I’m also not a dude…) but it would have been nice to not have been given such self-esteem squashing advice.
Thin, not so thin, tall, short, old, young – you can run. You might not make it to the Olympics, but you can run and you can set goals for yourself. In races people who are twice your size will barrel past you and kick your butt, much to your novice surprise. You will also school some athletic looking people who you thought you never could beat. I am rather competitive sometimes (read: all the time) and I always like to pick someone who I’d like to try to beat at the starting line of a race. I don’t think I’ve ever really beaten them, but it’s a fun game I like to play with myself to ease my nerves before a race. I always get that feeling. like when you’re a kid and you’re playing your first softball game and you think to yourself “is this a bad time to say that I have to pee?!” just as you take the out field for the first person to go up to bat, before a race. This is something that will never change over the years no matter how many times I race, and to be honest I’m glad it doesn’t. It brings that nervous surge of adrenaline through my body and reminds me why I’m there in the first place.
It’s not like I’m racing to win (perhaps some day I will be 90 and enter a race in a small town and win my age category by default, but until then I don’t see myself taking a gold anytime soon haha) I’m racing for myself.
I am going to admit that right now I’d like to quit training for this half marathon. Training after you haven’t been running for about a month or two is really hard. You want your body to do what it did two months ago. You want to throw on your runners and feel that ease of the soles on the pavement, like you’ve been doing this all your life.
Last Thursday, I stopped at one point during my run and said to my running partner Rae that I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t quit, but I wanted to. My attitude for the rest of the run was less than pleasant to say the least. Post-run we had a chat, and we have decided that a) I am hard on myself and b) I need to keep at it if I am ever going to improve or get back to where I want to be.
My point is, I’m having a hard time finding the motivation that I always pride myself in having. I’m the person who gets up at 5:30 am to take a bus downtown to take a workout class. I’m the person who does a class in the morning and a boxing class at night. My friends call me crazy at times and they never want to believe that even I want to give up sometimes. What I’m doing this time around during training isn’t just physical, I’m also trying to give myself a training in motivating myself past those points of wanting to give up, and really pushing myself to do better. I am not a quitter.
I’m going to do better.
I’m not going to quit.
I’m going to kick some butt (sometimes my own hah)
I’m going to try to not get frustrated with myself
I’m going to believe in myself
I’m going to accept the bad days and embrace them as much as the good days.
I’m going to try harder.