I woke up yesterday fully convinced I was done with running

done with running cover

I woke up yesterday fully convinced I was done with running. Not just, “I’ll take today off and back at it tomorrow” done, but really done. Never to run again done. “I’ll take up biking,” I thought and maybe that will be fun. Or maybe it won’t be fun, who knows.

The truth is, running has been nothing but difficult for me since I got sick. Not that it was ever easy – I’m not a natural-born athlete by any means – but I got to the point where I could knock out four or five miles without much of a second thought and feel really good about myself afterwards.

That hasn’t happened in I don’t know how long. Before the Goofy, for sure, which happened over a year ago. I’m convinced my health problems were beginning even back then and in part, impacted the way I was running in that race and the pain I was feeling then.

Nothing is easy any more. Not even getting out of bed on some days. I take that back. It’s easy to become bitter, angry, sad and jaded by all that has happened to be in the last two years. It’s easy to say, “Forget it. I hate running.”

And that’s exactly what I said yesterday morning. Still, I met my friends for a four mile run, convinced I would run a mile or so and give up and walk back to the car and finally have proof that I was done running – the proof being that I couldn’t do it.

That’s not what happened, though. And I was more surprised than anyone.

We set out on the run, 2:1 run-walk intervals and by a mile and a half in while I was still going; I was greatly concerned that I wouldn’t be able to make it to two miles, let alone four miles. The sun had risen and the humidity felt like it was increasing with each step, making it harder for me to breathe. Yet, I somehow made it to two miles and then we turned around and headed back. Back is always easier, in my opinion, there is an end in sight.

It was a little into mile three when I really started to feel the run. Until then, I realized, I was actually enjoying the run. Whoa. I thought I hated running. We slowed down for the last half a mile or so – due to the increasing sun and humidity – and walked it in. I felt like I could run, though, which if I remember correctly from my glory days was a sign that I had trained well. Fatigued, but not to the point where I could run another mile or so if I had to. I felt that place again, for the first time in a long time.

And suddenly I realized running has never let me down. People in running have let me down, my own performance has let me down, injuries, bad weather, poor training and failure to plan have all let me down, but running in and of itself has never let me down. If I go out and give it my all, running gives back. Even on days when I try and perceive a failure, running doesn’t let me down because small improvements to my body and ability to run are being made that even I can’t see until a day like yesterday.

And, after a day like yesterday, a single clear and persuasive thought is ever present in my mind. This isn’t easy, it’s not supposed to be easy, it wasn’t easy before and it won’t be easy again. I am reminded of, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”

So, if you’re out there struggling to run, work out, eat right, lose weight or hey, even get out of bed in the morning; no, it’s not easy by a long shot, but it can be done. Don’t ever give up.

What about you? Share your thoughts in the comments below! How are you overcoming obstacles in running or in life? What keeps you going when you want to give up? At the lowest point you can remember, what reminded you that all hope was not lost?

Until the next mile marker,

0 - blog post signature