Let’s talking racing plans, shall we? Last month I’d mentioned that I might not be able to run the Healdsburg Half after all because of work…. well, since then a few things have happened, including some fun news: I was offered a new, new job (!!), which means work is no longer an obstacle. But since I’d been assuming I couldn’t run Healdsburg because of the old new job, I never booked any of my travel plans, and I ended up getting sick, which threw off my training a teensy bit.. so if you’re keeping track, that means no Healdsburg Half Marathon in two weeks. I was still sorta training though (doing speed intervals, running at least three times a week with a long run on the weekends), but I didn’t feel like I was training as well I wanted to be or could be, especially since I had set a super secret goal of hitting 2 hours or sub.
Not so secret anymore… oops.
Anyways, with Healdsburg being off the table, I became fixated on the idea of still doing a half in the next month or so, and preferably one in the nearby area so I wouldn’t have to spend a fortune on plane tickets considering I’m already eating the registration cost of Healdsburg (they don’t defer or refund). I was obsessed with finding one that would fit my schedule and still be doable, aka not set me up for an injury or cause me to travel out of southern California. That left me with the Long Beach Half Marathon (which I vowed NEVER AGAIN after last year – recap here), the Silver Strand Half (which seemed pretty and flat, but boring), or the Los Angeles Rock and Roll on October 25.
I started leaning pretty heavily toward doing the RnR half, which meant I technically needed to run 10 miles this past weekend.
And then I had a come to Jesus moment.
I felt like I was forcing myself to do a half marathon ASAP even though, truth be told, my heart wasn’t really into it. I’ve been loving all my long runs, but I’ve been struggling to keep running as my priority during the week over Crossfit and Pure Barre. Note to self: running hard is really difficult after a day of a million squats. It was like I just felt like I was supposed to do a fall half marathon…. because I set up imaginary expectations for myself that aren’t necessarily important or needed. I sometimes forget they can be modified or shifted.
Plus, if I really wanted to hit my goal and wasn’t just trying to do a fun run, then I probably shouldn’t be going into a half feeling like I wasn’t putting my all into training. What’s the point of that?
I also realized – as silly as this sounds – that hey, if I like doing my long training runs, I can STILL do them. They don’t have to be reserved for only “training” periods of my life. (P.s. I consider a “long” run anything seven miles or over… aka any run that requires me to have a snack before I hit the pavement.)
I gave myself permission to just enjoy running for the sake of running again. Running because I can. And running long because I want to… just because.
Saturday I ran eight miles and it was glorious. I got lost in the music and the fog billowing over Back Bay, and remembered why I love to run. Why I always wanted to be a runner and am so grateful to have found my feet back in college.
That’s what running IS, you know? It’s not just races or paces or medals. It’s about always trying to be better than before, moving forward, and appreciating how strong you are – even when you’re unsure. Running, my dears, is the best convincer you need, and a testament to the human spirit. Because even if you’re shuffling and you’re too tired to squeak out more than half a mile… you’re moving and you’re alive and you can be whoever you want to be.
Or at least that’s what it is to me.
Moral of the story – I’m officially running zero half marathons this fall, and I’m fine with it. I want my next race to excite me and be something I’m looking forward to, and already have a few ideas for winter/spring (Carlsbad Half in January 2016, anyone??) and some potenial summer races for my wish list.
And that’s that. Maybe I should get some new running shoes in the meantime….
Happy Monday! xo
p.s. CONGRATS to one of my dearest SD friends and runners, Jen, on being a gorgeous bride this past weekend! So sad I couldn’t be there to celebrate with her.