The past month or so has NOT been conducive to running.
I have a list of excuses. Some are fun (travel, holidays, family, social commitments). Some are not (muscle spasms, norovirus, sinus infection, not one but two colds). Throw some gnarly weather into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for inertia.
I don’t feel bad about gearing down my running. I know my body needed/needs (still fending off some of the aforementioned ailments) rest in order to get better, and I certainly don’t regret skipping runs in order to spend more time with my niece in Ontario. I happily accept that some weeks, months, and even years, I’ll run more than others.
I’ve met some fellow running enthusiasts who are incredibly hard on themselves. Most of them are much better runners than me – probably due to the fact that they are hard on themselves. Missing runs or runs that don’t go as planned lead to stress, anger, guilt, and disappointment. None of these people are professional athletes – they run for fun, for health, to get outside, and simply because they enjoy it. (Actually, these are the reasons I run, too.)
I’m not as hard on myself as these people are, but I’m totally okay with that. Actually, I’m kind of proud of that. There are enough things in life that are hard – why make running one of those things, when it is supposed to be an escape from those things?
So even though I didn’t feel 100% today – and even though the temperatures are below zero, the wind is howling, and the ground is covered in death ice – I bundled up, laced up my shoes, and went outside for a mellow 5k run (well, more like a shuffle) on the roads. It was cold, but it was sunny and it felt nice to be outside, even though I wasn’t going anywhere quickly. I know that over the next little while, my running mojo will come back – hopefully in time for the two races I’ve signed up for this summer.
My running related goals for 2017 are somewhat unconventional. I’m not necessarily aspiring to run more, to run farther, or to run faster. Rather, here’s what I’m setting out to do:
- I want to make 2017 the year I push myself in trail running. The two races I’ve signed up for so far are 21km and 23km trail runs, respectively.
- I want to volunteer for a lot of races. I can’t run all the races I want to (namely because I have many financial saving goals this year and the costs of racing adds up quickly), but volunteering for them will give me a chance to be part of the experience and get connected to the local running community.
- I want to run less than I did in 2016. By that I mean, I want to do more other stuff. Marathon training was a cool experience, but I want to run about three times a week and supplement it with other activities – hot yoga, training in the gym, riding my bike, hiking, that kind of stuff.
I believe this blog post follows the “stream of consciousness” style that my grade 12 English teach taught me (in other words, I recognize that it’s all over the place). There’s an analogy begging to be made here: just as I’ve taken a bit of time off of running, I took a small hiatus from blogging. And just as my first run back was slow and not under the best conditions, my first blog post of the new year isn’t particularly polished – but it’s a start. And if you wait for all the stars to align before you start back up again, it’ll never happen.
To crummy runs and blog posts! Oh, and to 2017 running goals!