Saturday, May 9, 2009

Stop Fighting What Is

Me, tired and whining with dog in face

I felt like a bit of a whiner after my last post. WAH!! Thanks for all of your comments of support and understanding about my love/hate affair with running. In my infinite wisdom I've decided and realized that running is hard. There is no way around it. It is physically, emotionally and mentally intense and challenging. That said, I thought my friend Macker (and resident sport's physiologist on my blog and in real life) made an excellent point in response to my post:

Welcome to the club. Everybody that has any kind of ambitious running goals hits the point of "What's this all about"? Happened to me a couple of years ago and I'm just now coming out of it. There's the sport. To be your absolute best, you've got to push the envelope; unfortunately past the point of it being fun. There's other fun on the other side. You start hitting workouts that were unimaginable and when the races pay off, it's way fun. However, there are days, weeks, even months where it really is an absolute chore. I don't know anyone who trains seriously and enjoys it like they do when they're doing 15-20 miles/week. Everyone has to come up with their own cost/benefit. There have been times where the benefit was worth having running as a part-time job and there were times where I didn't need the hassle. I think that you've been doing great training and will continue to improve regardless of where you go from here.

What I loved about this response is it didn't let me, or any of you off of the hook. Macker's point is: yes, running and training are tough, especially when you have lofty and challenging goals. That's the point. If marathons were easy, if BQ'ing was easy, if any of it was easy, everyone would do it and we distance runners would not be doing anything out of the ordinary; would not be pushing ourselves so that when we crossed that finish line we are so overcome with emotion and bodily pain that we simultaneously cry, shit, and breathe a sigh of relief. In essence, it has to be this hard for it to be the accomplishment it is.

My solution? To keep running and running hard with goals in mind. The difference is, I am expecting it to feel really tough. I will stop fighting what is and realize it is part of the process for all of us. Not just for me. And it is never wasted time or energy, even when you don't get that PR.

So keep on everyone and I will too.


  1. Thanks for finding me and leaving me a comment.

    What great words of wisdom from Macker. Often those thoughts of "if it were easy, everyone would do it" get me through a lot of tough workouts.

    Awesome job on your first marathon. That's something to be proud of. I hope I will get there after a couple more.

  2. Great post. Very interesting.

    I loved your pics from Las Vegas. That sign that your kids made for you was just adorable. :)

  3. He is so right about the cost/benefit factor. For me, it is seriously "Am I becoming too obsessed with running at the cost of a relationship?" I know that isn't exactly what he meant, but it actually something I have to keep in mind. Thanks for reminding me.

  4. I need a Macker in my life. Great advice. I have a hard time prioritizing running with the rest of my life some times. Let me know if you figure it all out. :o)

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  6. Just go run already!

  7. That is very well said. I think you just have to make the decision that training/competing is what you want, but also give yourself a break once in awhile (i.e. letting yourself "off the hook" a month after every training segment).

  8. What a GREAT post!! I so often go through ebbs and flows with my desire and commitment toward running. Loved it! Thanks.

    p.s. I saw you through Marlene's blog and stopped by. Great blog!

  9. Glad it was of some use to you! You've realized something really important and are in danger of kicking a lot of butt...........

  10. that was a great response from your wise friend and a very nice mature accepting of the running life

  11. I just found your blog and it must have been fate. I just began training for a sprint triathlon and there are certainly days that are not fun. I just have to remember, it's not all about fun :)

  12. That sounds like a good plan to me.

  13. That is some great advice and a great post. I'm taking this one to heart.

  14. Nicely said. I guess we all just need to shut up and run.

  15. My husband says that all the time - if it was easy everyone would do it! I tell myself that during my run.
    Also, the only thing that makes running easier is more running. Maybe with a bit of yoga thrown in ;)

  16. what a great post! I have been telling myself this too, its not easy and the harder it is the better I will feel when I do get there. Heading into this next round of training I know will be a little tougher since I trained so hard and then the race was a flop - but I know I will be stronger and I need to push harder. We will get that BQ!!