I just took 3 weeks off from training. Not running, hell no, jail is not an option. Just training like a beast 6 days a week. I had just finished 2 back to back half marathon training cycles and the thought of doing another set of intervals was on par with getting up for the 17th time at night to put a pacifier back into a baby’s mouth that will spit it back out the second you fall asleep.
Running is a hard sport.
It is revealing. It strips you to your bare soul and at the end you just hope something doesn’t break. You give a lot of yourself when you run. Its heart and soul stuff. We all have goals. We are all chasing some milestone, pace, PB or a race. We invest hours into it and we go from “Ermagerd, I love running so much” to “Lord have mercy, please just strike me down”. Everything sorta just comes to a grinding halt somewhere along the way and training becomes hard. Tedious at best. You look at the stats and you are running slower than you did when you were injured last summer and your foot was fractured. You are pushing as hard as you can, and getting nowhere.
Sound familiar? I know right, you thought it was just you. Nah, its all of us. Even that lighting fast, perfect form, running machine that runs past your house in the mornings have days where he would rather fake the man flu AGAIN than go for a run.
So why do I go for a run then if I don’t feel like it? Because giving up is not an option. My struggle isn’t individual. I am not alone. I have countless friends across the world that will lace up running shoes tomorrow wishing they could rather sleep in.
I run solo 99% of the time. I have literally only ever ran with my sister and once with my running bestie Ian Morgan. I race with strangers. But I never feel alone on my runs. I have been blessed by getting to know so many people through instagram that share this crazy passion with me. They understand my pain, the struggle, the disappointment, the victories and they are just happy to ride the crazy train with me and share those adventures.
That is what carries me through the 9th km, when I ALWAYS hit the wall. What is up with km 9??? I think of their encouraging words when I hit the hateful 8 mile marker. I think of all my friends twinning it out in our matching socks and teamdontdie, runalways and keep on running t-shirts.
I haven’t met any of them in person, but I have shared some of my most incredible and proudest moments with them. They have seen me near death and hypothermic in a spa bath and watch me cross a finish line looking like I just won Gold at the Olympics. I have never been loved and embraced more for my crazy by a group of people than the running community.
We don’t care what shoes you wear, if you have branded clothes or not, if you run a 2 minute mile or a 22 minute mile. We don’t care if you are built like a majestic mythical running god and have all 10 toe nails. We will cheer you on regardless of where you are in the pack. Your victories are our victories, and your failures are our opportunity to help you to a comeback.
That my friends, is what gets me running when I don’t feel like it and everything hurts and I wish I was dying.