Monday, September 24, 2012

Mondays on Notice: Sins of a Runner

Yesterday our little family was headed to a party about 2 hours from home. We were super excited to go--we would see friends and celebrate some wonderful things in their lives. We got about half way there and the warning lights on my dashboard lit up like Christmas lights. After some recon at an Auto Zone, we figured out that it had something to do with the cooling of the hybrid engine. All we could do was turn around and drive slowly home, out of fear of over-heating. As we drove along under the 70mph speed limit, I wanted to hang a sign on the back that said "sorry we're slow--we're having some car trouble and need repair!"

poor thing! But she got all fixed up today at the dealership--under warranty even!

Then I realized, this was the perfect metaphor for how I've felt as a runner these past few months.

I realized recently that when I talk to people about running, I've been introducing myself with an asterisk. I feel the need to tell people, "But I had a baby 5 months ago" or "I ran a marathon last year." This is my runner's sin: pride.

Since I got the all-clear to start running again after baby boy's birth, I've been slowly building back up. I've increased my distance, up to 4 miles. I've lowered my pace. I've slowly lost weight, though I still have a long way to go. I've made a lot of progress, and I'm so pleased with it and proud of myself.

Why can't I just be proud of where I am today? Why do I feel the need to let people know that I have and will be a better runner than what I am today? Yes, running has an element of pride in it, but now is a time to celebrate my progress and celebrate without reservation others' races and training and awesomeness. I've let this monster creep up and take root in me, and it needs to go.

Anyone else had this happen? What did you do about it?


Raquelita said...

Ooof! I can relate. I felt similarly when I was first coming back from injury and now again after a summer of really low mileage. I should be pleased with running distances that I hadn't since the spring, but I keep feeling slow and embarrassed by my slowness.

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

I can relate too, the marathon I did kicked my butt and recovery has been really hard, I feel slow and old. Makes me not want to do a marathon again. Don't be discouraged, you will get back to where you were before!

Suz and Allan said...

I feel the same way sometimes. I know I am not a fast runner and when I tell people my times I feel like I need to apologize for not being as speedy as they are.

You are making great progress and I'm sure this fall you'll feel more like your self with running.