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What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dark & Twisty

I did two things I haven’t done in a long time. I ran by myself all week, & on one run, I ran WITH music. This week was the 1st week of my marathon training & so far, it was uneventful…no trumpets playing, the usual aches & pains, but overall, I felt good physically. Emotionally…well, that’s another story.

Was it what I lovingly refer to as the shitshow (three beautiful girls, ages 4-9) & the culmination of their roller coaster ride with the end of school that had me feeling down/off…& maybe just a little blue? Or was it the doubts in my own head regarding my own insecurities running & not running? As wordy as I can be, I am not good with my words. When I’m feeling out of sorts, I would rather run it off than talk about it, throw some iron around, or just do anything physical. So why wasn’t my running and training making me feel better?

So this week, I did the unthinkable, got my ass out of bed by myself 5x throughout the week all early morning to run/weight train. The past 3 years, I’ve done nothing but run and weight train with other people…whether it be the gals I get up early to run with, the training groups I coach, or just group weight training. I had forgot what it felt like to have no one but myself to hold myself accountable….& actually, I think I needed to do it so that I could see where I was in my running training right now. No comparing myself to anyone…just seeing what I had in me, out on my own.

The thing is, we all go through our insecurities out on the road…depending on whom you run with or train with. For some reason, our natural tendencies is to compare ourselves to what our friends/group/etc are doing, how they’re doing it, & if we’re keeping up. I had gotten into my own slump, comparing myself to my light, skinny, more experienced runner friends…dark & twisty thoughts like:  god, am I keeping up, why does this feel so hard for me today & they’re just gliding along effortlessly…I don’t feel like going this pace, I’m tired,  I feel like the Clydesdale amongst gazelles . Or  maybe I’m just less athletic/less fit & conditioned…maybe I should just hang this s*** up & go back to playing volleyball (as if my Achilles could handle that & like I have that kind of time, not too many leagues playing at 5am)…& I even hit bottom with thinking, maybe I’m just not a REAL runner.

I finished my last run for the week this am & did the other unthinkable for me…I ran with music. It was actually nice for a change. It got me out the door half asleep, & I felt warmed up mentally to tackle my pace run for the morning. With no one to set the pace but myself, I hit it & probably pushed it a little too hard but it felt good. With Pink’s greatest hits blaring in my ears, I found that this morning it was just what I needed to drown out the voices in my head that had me doubting my capabilities. Surprisingly, too….Pink being a little dark & twisty herself, had me tackling some of those feelings that have been chasing me these past few weeks. By the end of the run, I felt good again…back on track.

The thing is, I think we should all enjoy the company of running with a group; it is rewarding, fun & it can get your butt out the door, plus with the right group, it can be a place to vent & share the tougher moments in life.  I also still think it’s important to learn how to be “unplugged” when we run, otherwise, we might miss all those friendly hellos from fellow runners, not see the deer bounding away next to us out on the trails, or not hear the waves crash behind us when we stop on the beach mid-run for a Stinger/Gu break. But, there is a place in your training for those solo runs just as there is a place for some runs with music. You have to do what works for you, especially when you’re feeling dark & twisty…set your own pace, know what your strengths/weaknesses are, & remember, music or no music, solo or with a group, if you lace up, you are a REAL runner.

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