I’m going to be real honest on this one – solo sports suck. Having to rely on your own motivation to get out the door is HARD! Growing up I played team sports where you had a coach and teammates counting on you so the working out was necessary, important, vital, etc. Now, being a runner with no real runner friends, it is hard!
Lately I have been lacking the motivation to get up and go for even a short run. Today, I had the day off, the whole day off, I could have ran as long as I wanted. Instead what did I do? I waited until 9:30pm to run 1 mile before my rec league basketball game just so I could say I ran today. Sometimes I really miss having a team and a coach to push you. When I was in high school there was no skipping workouts or slacking during training, I had a coach and a trainer there yelling at me, pushing me to be my best. Alone now I have no one to push me except me and I am failing.
When I first got to college I gained 20 pounds because I was no longer playing team sports, I didn’t have to go workout every day so I didn’t! Sophomore year my mom suggested I run a half-marathon. I laughed at the idea at first, running had always been a punishment in the sports I played. You missed a free throw? Run a sprint. Your team didn’t hit the points in the drill? Run a mile. And so on. I thought, there is no way I would enjoy running after my whole life taught me running was a punishment. But then I realized, I needed a goal, something to motivate me to get back to the gym. So, I signed up for the Surf City Half Marathon, got a training plan, got a gym pass, and began my journey. I wish I could say I loved the first race and it was glorious and blah blah blah but it wasn’t! I strained a muscle from trying to run faster than I had trained to keep up with my cousin, I had stomach issues because I was eating supplements I had never tried before, you name the rookie mistake and I probably made it. You’d think I’d give up after that but I didn’t. I decided I had to do this thing right so I needed to run one more race and finish strong, something I could be proud of. Somewhere around mile six of that second half marathon (the OC half marathon) I was hooked. I wanted to do more and more.
About 2 years ago I lost my passion for running, I had been doing so many races I was training year round and I was burnt out. So, the last 2 years have been filled with half-ass races that were half-ass trained for. In August of 2015 my wonderful boyfriend proposed to me! I knew I needed to get my act together, get back to working out, and look amazing for my wedding day. So, I started cycling and I joined a gym called the 12-movement where I did interval strength training. My running never really took off as much as I wish it would have but I was stronger because of the other training so my races went decently well in Spring of 2016.
After the wedding when things calmed down, I got back into my running and was ready to be super serious about my training again. All was going well until November. In November I began to get shin splints but I had already signed up for CIM and I wasn’t going to miss that! So I rested and I decided to still run the marathon (I’m stubborn in addition to my competitiveness). So, December came and I ran the slowest, worst marathon I had ever run, but I did it. Frustrated and feeling defeated I took 3 weeks off before even attempting a run. This lit a fire under me though as I decided I wanted to make Surf City 2017 my come back run. So I began training, I was sticking to every workout, not skipping a single one. I loved the way I was feeling, I was back! Until my shin splints decided they were back. My trainer told me with Surf City in February, LA marathon in March, Ragnar in April, and OC half in May I was at serious risk of injuring myself further with more permanent damage. I asked if I could take time off until LA and still run it because I knew even on little training I could finish it. I had already signed up and promised my cousin I would run it with her since it was her first marathon. He agreed that if I took at least 4 of the 6 weeks off between Surf City and LA that I could run it. So I did. And we completed LA slowly, very slowly, but we got it done.
Fast forward to now, a month after the LA marathon and I have gained over 20 pounds in the last 8-9 months since the wedding. My journey back feels impossible given all the times I have tried and failed. Watching the Boston marathon this past Monday made it all the more real that I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. I miss having someone force me to get out the door but I know that I need to be the person to get myself out that damn door. My hope is that someday that will become easier. But for today, every little baby step is a step in the right direction and I will celebrate every last one.