On Running Acceptance

Running Comparison

A year ago, I was a week away from running the Chicago Marathon (and then going on to run the NYC Marathon a few weeks later.) I’d fought my way back from an annoying SI joint injury that derailed me from running most of the summer (but I cross-trained/PT-ed really diligently.)

Last weekend, I was really happy to have finished six miles with Ashley. I honestly was feeling nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish, I’d been feeling so crappy. My lungs would hurt, or my legs would hurt, or I’d just psyche myself out. 

I spent most of the summer on-and-off-again sick with sinus infections and various other crap. I missed a half-marathon I was going to travel to Canada (eh?) for. I missed quite a few training runs. Finally, around Labor Day I decided to call it. It wasn’t happening.

Could I have pulled it together in the 10 weeks I had left? Probably. Could I have gotten through it? Probably. But I’ve done that before, twice, and a marathon is never easy, but a marathon you’re not going into in tip top shape is a special version of hell. I’ve experienced it, and I want my next marathon to feel as good as a marathon can.

But. That’s not where I am. I spent some of September trying to figure out if I could maybe do a later marathon before deciding that’s just not where I was. It was a waste of energy and unrealistic.

Instead, I decided for my mind to meet my body where it was. And I’ve been enjoying running so much more since then.

I’m not where I’ve been before. I’m not where I’d like to be, even. But I am where I am, and I’m going to make the best of it while I work to get back to that place where running feels so much easier, where I feel like I could run forever. But not the place where I’m ruled by my watch. That’s what takes the fun out of it.

How do you accept when you’re not where you want to be…in running, or life?

3 comments on “On Running Acceptance

  1. Katie

    I’ve spent the last full year not in my best running shape. and while I don’t love it, I acknowledge the things I want/need to be doing instead. Today I could have ran after work, but I really did need to go to happy hour, to spend some time not buried behind a computer or talking about work with work people. Remember that we all have a life. It was a good connector. I will be running before work tomorrow, so it was only a small trade.

  2. Courtney

    I remember meeting you briefly at the start line of Chicago last year. I also ran that race in probably the worst running shape I had been in to that point. 2015 was a rough running year for me, and 2016 hasn’t been much better, to be honest. This is partly because of me putting undue pressure on myself. I ended up *really* hating running earlier this year. I’m sitting out the fall marathon season as a result and, having trained for one every summer/fall for the last several years, I felt like a part of my life was missing this year. I’ve been switching it up, and dabbling in triathlon. I read a book called Slow, Fat Triathlete and one of her quotes really stuck out: “You are what you are right now.” Something clicked when I read that, and I had to leave my former running self behind and rebuild. I repeat that to myself often, and it’s my new mantra.


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