Sunday morning I work up at 7am, put on a pair of shorts and compression socks, gobbled up a banana and granola bar, sipped on a cup of water, and set my stopwatch to zero. I let my dogs out back and stepped outside to get a taste for the temperature. Then suddenly, as I stood there dressed and ready to go, I realized my 18 mile long run was not going to happen. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Instead of turning on my music and heading out the door, I went back upstairs, defeated, and broke down. In my two and half years of running, and barring injury, I have always sucked it up, gone out there, and finished my run. This time was different.
Mentally I consider myself to be a strong runner. Bad runs happen, by overall, I don't deal with a lot of self-doubt. Finding success in running helps boosts my confidence in other areas of my life, which is one of the reasons I love it. But this weekend I let anxiety and self-doubt win. Instead of feeling like my usual capable self, I felt defeated. I failed.
This has been a tough semester for me and, as we fully dive into April, otherwise known as the end of the semester, I've been feeling more and more overwhelmed. Sunday morning everything came crashing down. The thought of running for 3 hours and then sitting down to do hours upon hours of work seemed impossible.
Obviously no one has a gun to my head telling me to run. It's something I put on myself and its only as important as I believe it to be. On the one hand I am glad that I didn't force myself to run when I really didn't want to. Its important to be flexible and take breaks when your body and mind tells you to. On the other hand, I feel like I'm in this vicious cycle. The doubt I've felt in some of the non-running areas of my life has now negatively affected my running, And when I lose confidence in my running, I in turn lose confidence in other areas of my life. And around and around it goes.
Eventually Mike convinced me to go out for a shorter run with him. We settled on 10 miles, but I still wasn't remotely excited about it. Truthfully, it was one of the hardest 10 mile runs of my life. I wanted to quit every mile, and probably would have if my husband weren't by my side. The whole time I kept wondering how the hell I ran 50 miles when getting to the next stoplight seemed so hard.
I wish I could tell you that I felt better after the run, that my anxiety levels deflated and I regained my confidence, but I didn't. I hope that this weekend was the turn around point and that my running mojo is out there somewhere ready for me to find. I'm ready to feel strong again.