It looks as though I'm not going to reach my goal of running 6 races before the year is up. Although I do have a couple more races in mind, I won't make it. After my 5k in the beginning of the year I, once again, decided I didn't like running. So I stopped...just stopped. Running is one of those things that is really hard (for me) to stop and then start back up again. It physically hurts. My chest gets tight as I start to gasp for air and my legs eventually are begging me to stop. Mentally, I just beat myself up. Basically, I'm just uncomfortable....
Sweat - need for oxygen - water - a chair!
So I didn't do it for awhile. I didn't really do anything. Life got busy, as it always does, and once again I struggled; to keep up, to keep my sanity, and to even keep going.
After a few months off I decided once again to suck it up and hit the road. My search for balance in my life is crucial and it's something I'm always struggling to obtain. That is what I believed was missing. And running, well it helps me. Sometimes I think about the music I'm listening to. Sometimes I think about how the cars around me are driving too fast. Sometimes I am just in the moment. I allow myself to just be...to feel the tightness in my chest and shoulders, to smell the cleanliness of someone doing laundry. I can think about how my pace feels and wonder if I can finish strong?
This time around, I decided to change my mindset. Rather than grab a training plan online, that I'm probably not ready for anyway, I decided that I would just lace up my fancy pink sneakers and hit the road. I wanted to enjoy running. So, I started out slow. Rather than feeling disappointed that I didn't go as far/fast as I wanted, I was thrilled that I went at all! That has been the most freeing and most wonderful feeling ever! As the weeks have gone by and both my pace and distance have improved I'm feeling great!! I am actually loving the way it makes me feel. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment and dare I say pride when I do better than what I expected. All that being said, I still have goals and I am still trying to improve every time I go out. Because I do. In fact, who knows where I'll be a few months from now! Maybe a 7-something minute pace. Ha! Just kidding, I'm pretty sure that's just not going to happen!
Seriously though, I'm glad this is helping me balance my life because once again we have gotten word that my Mike will be leaving soon.
**This picture was taken last year when I ran a 5k with my favorite 14 year old.