These days, the health/running blogging world is full of all kinds of introspection all over the place.
Beth is wondering where her motivation has gone after a lackluster week (although her workouts still seemed pretty amazing to me!). Ali is taking responsibility for her role as both a blogger and a consumer of blog content. Kath is breaking from her blog-every-meal format to have the time she wants to be with her family. Jen is re-committing herself to staying true to her blog title. It seems like 2013 is a year that so far, we’re all spending pretty deeply inside our own heads.
And this blogger is no exception. So instead of focusing on my goals for this week, tonight, I’m focusing on more long-term goals.
There was absolutely a time when I was completely ravenous for a sub-2-hour half-marathon. It was a particular time in my life — I was stressed out about a lot of things, with a lot of big life questions up in the air and worrying about how those questions were going to turn out. And apparently, that nervous energy was manifesting itself as crazy motivation to train. I was struggling with weird marathon withdrawal, even though I was miserable at the end of that training cycle, and I needed something certain to dedicate myself to and work towards.
But now, things are different. A lot of those big, stressful questions have been resolved (sorry I’m being vague here, but I promise that everything is fine and great and I’m happy). I no longer have a ton of nervous energy flailing around that needs to be focused on something. And without that nervous energy, I have a confession to make: I’m not sure I want to run the Long Branch half-marathon anymore.
Lately, I’ve really been enjoying working out without pressure. I love having variety in my workouts, and being able to skip a few days when things get super-busy, and taking a lazy Saturday when I just feel like I need it, and trying new classes, and being able to run 3 miles and be satisfied with that as a workout because it’s really all I feel like doing that day, and working more on strength training. I get frustrated when I feel like I’m not motivated to get my runs in, and I resent not seeing more sessions of lifting heavy weights on my schedule. When I’m traveling or work is busy or I just feel like spending Saturday taking an early morning trip to the Lululemon YogaBowl (do not judge me, but this is happening next weekend) instead of lacing up my Brooks or I just feel like doing something other than running on a particular day, I want that to be okay. I train because I enjoy it — if I’m looking at my schedule and getting annoyed that I’ve put a run on there when I’d rather be lifting weights, why am I not lifting weights?
Even if I decide not to run the Long Branch half (which I want to make clear that I haven’t quite decided about yet), I am not giving up running. If I found myself struggling to get through a 5K, I’d be miserable. I love the idea of trying to get faster and pushing myself to long-ish (maybe 8ish) miles, but lately, I want to do those things on my timeline and not because an Excel document is telling me to. And if there’s a week when I can’t motivate myself to run, I don’t want that to be something I beat myself up over.
So I guess my little introspective moment is now, when I’m trying hard to think about whether or not I want to train for a half-marathon this spring. To borrow a phrase from Jen, what workouts and training plan (or lack thereof) will enable me to live my best life? I don’t want to run a half-marathon just because I’m surrounded by bloggers and tweeters and friends who are all training for one. I know the adrenaline charge that comes with the start of a training cycle, and I am just NOT feeling that right now. And strangely enough, I miss the weight room. Lately, I’m feeling like my best life might not include distance running, and I don’t want to feel guilty about that. I think my best life right now needs more variety than that: spinning, lifting, yoga, and yes, running.
So stay tuned, folks. I’m not sure what this spring is going to hold, but I do know that it’s going to be awesome. And I don’t have any specific goals for this week because it’s going to be a busy one, but I’ll fit in what I can. And will keep my hands out of the office candy bowl.