First things first is quickly becoming my favorite phrase…..

but really….first things first.

I have a recap of Day 3 of my Olympic Trials Trip coming at you tomorrow or maybe later today once I have read it 10 more times….once upon a time I did not proof read my posts. Sure I read them over, once, but that was about it. I would word vomit on the screen and hit publish. Not only did that leave me with posts where I gave you a “peak” at something vs a “peek” but it also left me with more than one post that I quickly wanted to  delete when I saw the comments and hits rise past what they should have been in an hour.

True story: Another reason I don’t word vomit on this blog anymore is that…..I’m the worst speller ever. At times it can make me feel incredibly dumb. I can proof other people’s work. I frequently find errors in books {books?!?!} because the words of others jump out at me BUT my words….I read what I intended.

In college I wrote an excellent term paper – I can say it was excellent because of the A I got on it. Only the teacher wrote a note about how it would have been an A+  because it truly was a good paper….only he couldn’t because I was writing about the STEEL industry and not the STEAL industry. Yep.every.single.time. I wrote steel, I wrote steal. SIGH. Still embarrassed about that one!

Onward…

I wanted to give up on running last week. For good. I sat down for over an hour {ugh what a waste of time} and googled posts of people who had quit running. Wait did I just type that? In the interest of being transparent, I wanted to quit running. Not for a week or a month. I wanted to quit as in just quit and go back to lifting all the time and doing yoga in my basement {both things I’ve been missing lately}.

This was just days off of a trip to watch some of the most amazing runners in the US compete for a spot in the Olympics. The fastest of the fast, the fittest of the fittest.

I had a pep talk with myself before I went about not comparing myself to anyone on this trip. NO ONE. Do not compare where someone is at as a blogger. Do not compare where someone is at as a mom and certainly do not compare your running to other runners. I was fairly successful in this and owned who I am. It was cool. I told myself that I have a runner’s body {even though I am not happy with my weight right now}, I told myself I love running just as much as anyone else there {I did and do}, and I told myself that there are so many people in this world who spend their lives wanting to be someone else, when in reality there is someone else wanting to be them. I walked the walk of all the words and thoughts I put out there…

…and yet I still came home and wanted to quit.

 

Maybe it’s exhaustion. This summer is kicking my butt.

Maybe it’s lack of sleep. I have slept more than 10 hours every night since I’ve been back and haven’t felt rested.

Maybe it’s just that I am no longer obsessed with the idea of getting faster, running longer or adding on to my marathon number.

{I still would like to get faster, I love marathons, I like running long – what ended was the obsession}

Maybe it’s all three.

What are you training for? It’s what you get asked as a runner. Only I stumble and fall every time someone asks me this recently.

I’ve signed up for races. I hired a coach.

Only I keep coming back to why I decided to sign on as a Brooks Ambassador this year moving away from a relationship I had with a company that I have loved for years and years

I didn’t want to find my strong anymore. I didn’t need to search for the strength on every single run. I already was strong. I am strong. I don’t have to find it…

I just want to Run Happy.

When the going gets tough, walk if you must, but don't quit. @mileposts

That means different things on different days and different things during different times.

I don’t want running to cause me stress. I don’t want something that has empowered me to make me feel less.

Maybe I’ll feel different next week….maybe I’ll get excited to train for a marathon and tack on #32 or maybe I’ll get excited to run a 10K. I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t ever, ever want to feel like I should quit running again because of some irrational thoughts that are telling me I’m not good enough. Yes, there are going to be days where I want to give up…..but I don’t want to let something that brings me immense joy to drag me down.

 

I am enough. You are enough. You don’t have to chase PR’s or run races every weekend to be a runner. Those things are lovely but you know what else is lovely? You. Just as you are. Just as I am.

5.11 miles on the track yesterday + an email from Alicia has me back to feeling like me again. The me that doesn’t give up, the me that doesn’t have ridiculous thoughts about quitting something I love.

 

Do you ever feel like you want to quit? Tell me I’m not alone!

Comments

  1. I’m right there with you…taking a week’s break to do some weight training and sleep in late. Hoping I’ll be good as new on Monday morning. :)

  2. Melanie says:

    OMG my thoughts exactly! I have a marathon “scheduled” for the fall … But I have yet to register for it actually. Part of me doesn’t want to do it, and I’m like WHY NOT?!?! What is wrong with me for wanting to take a fall off from marathons?? I keep asking myself – is it the fear that doing so won’t make me a runner anymore? Irrational, but my thought process nonetheless. I’m trying not to fall into that mindset that if I don’t PR or run a marathon or am not in peak condition then I’m not enough of a runner. The struggle is real though. Thanks for posting :)

  3. Richard C, says:

    I am a triathlete that quit training after an ironman. Something that had been fun had, over time, become stressful and draining. I was off for about six months, but after about two months, I began (in hindsight) to feel worse and worse. Earlier in the year, I decided to get back to it — running and biking, but leaving my wetsuit/bathing suit in the drawer. I also decided to gradually build my base and lose some of the weight that I’d put on in the interim, without focussing too much on how fast I was going. Focussing less on my times has been liberating and cut down the stress for me — and (bonus!) I am losing weight and feel like I’m getting faster too.

    I hope that you make the necessary adjustments to find your happy place. In my opinion, more sleep is always a good start!

    Happy trails.

    Richard

  4. I love this post….I often struggle with getting caught up in numbers, whether it’s miles or pace or pounds on a scale….. And really, who am I trying to prove something to? A great reminder that it is about the joy of running and nothing else…thank you

  5. Man I really feel like this post is speaking to me today. After chasing my first marathon then a 10K PR this spring, I just haven’t been able to get pumped about new races. I’ve signed up, I’ve written out training plans too, Maybe it’s just the Texas heat but I feel like I am STRUGGLING to get going. I’ve have good weeks and right now I’m in the middle of a bad couple of weeks. I wish I had some better words of wisdom but I don’t. Hopefully it’s just enough to know that even though we all love running, some days are just tougher than others – and that’s ok because you’re not the only one that feels this way.

  6. Katrina says:

    Thank you for this! Trying to train for a fall marathon. Just started my training plan last week and have already missed 2 runs. In a RUT. Some mornings I just think, gosh it’s been a long time since I’ve slept in. I deserve to sleep. But then guilt sets in, “no, you need to run, you’ll regret not running later.” Sometimes we just need a break from it and that’s okay.

  7. I’m either going to quit, or sign up for my first marathon. I swing back and forth between those two extremes daily right now. “I do NOT want to wake up this early . . . run this long . . . I’m too slow . . . it’s too hard.” “I did it! I don’t have to be fast! I can run for 5 hours!” It’s maddening!!! Proofreading tip — read out loud. It’s easier to catch mistakes when you pull another sense into what you’re doing. It’s silly, but it works! (I work in publishing.)

  8. Ashley Simpson says:

    Dorothy! I identify a lot with this post. I am by nature a compare-er and find myself being of jealous of people…and then when I think why, I can’t even formulate a good reason. Like you seem to be, I’m my biggest critic. I’ve run one marathon in my life and then after failing in two subsequent training cycles (and there you go – I used the word ‘fail’ when that’s just not the case!), I thought running was no longer for me. I all but quit running and pursued swimming, yoga, etc., and other things that I just couldn’t fall in love with! A stressful job for a full years robbed me of an appetite so I falsely thought I didn’t need to work out now. In a nutshell, my relationship with running has been quite tenuous.

    Finally I’m back at it and have fallen in love with it again because, simply put, I have stopped caring about times or how I look in a tank top and running shorts. When I set out for a run, it’s all about seeing how much my legs (and knees) can give me, and to take it easy when I feel persistent pain.

    And, with my more laid back nature, I’ve actually become faster and I no longer get nervous about my scheduled long runs. It’s all about endorphins and alleviating anxiety!

    Over the almost ten years (ten– or near so) of reading this blog, you’ve always shed helpful light on things – even when I wasn’t running. You’re doing great, even if you did quit racing and decided to focus on yoga and strength training. And really – you look fab!

    PS – have never noticed misspellings, etc. Don’t be so hard on yourself :) (now I need to take my own advice)

    ~Ashley

  9. I too, have been searching for my mojo. Last year I completed my first marathon and running was my lifestyle. I’m not sure how it happened, but I haven’t run in months. Now I’m in that place where I’m at a heavier weight, not active, and mentally beating myself up for it. I think that hearing others are struggling makes me feel less alone in this inner battle. Thank you for your honesty.

  10. . Recently someone asked me my marathon time and reacted in disbelief: “Did you walk???” No I didn’t and it was the proudest day of my life thank you very much! I struggle with confidence but didn’t even look at my time in my last half bc it didn’t matter–I finished and I finished with a smile. Run Happy has become a mantra for me–you have to have the joy. So glad to see we are all not alone in our feelings sometimes!

  11. Ugh I just went through a similar thought process. I like running and participating in triathlons very much, but I started thinking that if I wasn’t going to win, or at least be competitive, maybe I should quit and find something else to do. After awhile, I realized that I don’t have to be the best at something to get joy from it, and that running and cycling are huge positives in my life that I wouldn’t want to lose. Run Happy is such a great mantra for all of us to keep in mind!

  12. Krystin C. says:

    I do think about quitting running, I remind myself why I run. I choose to do it and if I hate it just don’t do it. I always go back. I force a smile or when it really sucks I walk and then I let it go. Maybe we could run a race together and just chat the entire time, sounds like fun to me! :) Hang in there my friend. You will find “your” groove, whatever that groove looks like.

  13. I sometimes worry if I’m running because I like to run or because I like to chase goals and measure progress and success.

    But then, when the sun is beating down on me in a 10 mile run and I should be feeling awful… and I’m not. I realize I’m happy and I like being there.

    And then I know.

    It comes and go, it surely does. And that’s OK. Run happy.

    Thank you for your post.

  14. Emily Robertson says:

    I have had days where I wanted to stop running. However, there is nothing that makes you miss running more than when a physical/medical ailment causes you to be restricted from running altogether, indefinitely. I have been unable to run for the past 2 months due to a large ovarian cyst. I just had it removed, thankfully, and am on the recovery road. I am motivated by the thought of being “allowed” to run again sometime in the fairly near future. You don’t know what you have until you lose it. Having said that, sometimes a break or a small hiatus renews your love and energy for the thing you once loved so much! It may give you just the motivation you need to start again!

  15. ZanaSolo says:

    I went through this last year after running my 1st marathon and concluded that I was not a “real” runner, everyone seemed to be pumped for the next one…except for me..I just wanted to quit running…which I kind of did for 7 months…until I realized I wanted to run for the joy of running: not for a race, or a marathon,…but just because I love it. Once I found my happy place back, I can’t imagine living without it…thank you for sharing…I am now sure that I am a real runner!

  16. My thoughts before running: Ugh. It’s hard. I don’t want to move off of my couch. I deserve another day off, don’t I? Why do I even bother?

    My thoughts during running: That was sweat in my eye. This is hard. Other people are faster. This is hard.

    My thoughts after running: HECK YEAH, I DID IT! I AM AMAZING!

  17. Christine says:

    Thank you for this post. Your bravery and honesty about the challenges of running are what first attracted to your blog. I’m training for my first full marathon and am terrified. I live in the southeastern U.S., so right now its miserably hot and humid regardless of the hour. Sweating profusely makes hydration and maintaining a decent pace on longer runs difficult. Some (many) days, I waste valuable pre-dawn hours on long pep-talks debating the merits of just swimming laps until the summer ends. Even though I’m not improving as quickly as I’d like, I have been trying to focus on the things that make me happy: mostly, the encouraging waves and smiles from fellow runners who are sharing my discomfort. The sense of community is wonderful. And, as Diane mentioned in her comment, I usually feel pretty awesome after completing a run; especially, when I log my run and look back at all the miles I’ve covered.

  18. Adrienne says:

    This is exactly how I have been feeling for months now. I am so thankful I read this post because it truly reminds me that I do not need to constantly run for a PR or to be so competitive with myself. I love running because it helps me clear my mind and because it’s what I have always loved to do. It was around two years ago (after the birth of my first son) that I noticed I started getting faster in races and even placing. I quickly became obsessed with times and became extremely competitive with myself. I then unexpectedly got pregnant with my second son and ran my entire pregnancy with him. I had him in November 2015 and when I was finally cleared to run after (I had a c-section) I was injured within the first week. My running has just not been the same since. I would cry and get so upset and realized what I once loved was causing me stress and making me upset. I came to the realization that this was ridiculous and I should be thankful that I have been blessed with the ability to run. Thank you for this post! It is nice to know there are others who feel similarly with running at times.

  19. Sharon Bogdan says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your posts make me feel so human! I needed this as I’ve been feeling very down on myself re: running. I love to run, I love what it does for my mind and my body, but lately it’s been stressing me out. I thought it was bc I was comparing myself to all the awesomeness on social media. However, I think it’s just my body saying it needs a little rest. Thank you for being so real!

  20. I quit every summer (I live in Florida) and by September I’m ready to go back to it! Its so much better to take a break when you need it than to hate it. Life is too short to force something you don’t enjoy. You aren’t alone :-)

  21. I love a good running……http://bhealth24.com/

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