Ok. This isn’t easy to admit, but I’ll be honest.
A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about how I was planning to wake up every morning to get in a short run.
Well, I totally overestimated my ability to wake up in the morning. I kinda also overestimated my desire to do it.
It’s not that I don’t love running anymore – I still get in a short run whenever I can manage to, and I’m averaging a 3-mile run every week. Our family is about 5 weeks away from taking a Disney Cruise vacation, and all I can think about is how the girls get to go to camp all day and I’ll be free to run the track around the ship. I’m participating in a 5K this Saturday and I’ve already been scoping out my next half-marathon.
The problem is the same thing it was last summer: IT’S SUMMER. And Florida summers are no joke. Between the heat, the humidity, and the insane daily thunderstorms, it’s not easy to find time to get out. And although I really did love that early morning run, it’s just not always possible to do that either. Jay’s schedule changed almost as soon as I made the choice to try and get out every morning, and I’m not able to get any running in when he’s out of town.
I know, I know – excuses, excuses. :(
Not running has had an unexpected effect on me – I started getting depressed. I don’t think it’s the lack of endorphins as much as it is noticing the changes in my body, mainly the lack of energy and motivation that seems to occur whenever I’m not working out. Running makes me happy, makes me feel good about myself. Not running makes me feel icky. And I get bummed and feel like a failure because I’m not at all working towards my goal.
But I’ve started to see the absurdity in thinking that way, mainly because 90% of why I’m not running is not my fault - or, at least, it’s a well-made decision not to go. I have no control over the weather, no control over the heat, no control over my husband’s work travel and obligations. If I can’t run one morning because Emily’s friend is coming over for the day, then that’s not really me being lazy, it’s me making a sacrifice to help my daughter have a great summer. If I look out the window and see the clouds rolling in and decide to set up the pool in the backyard instead of forcing the girls to go running with me, then I’m making sure my kids enjoy the little sunshine we have their way and not mine. A great day with my kids is way more likely if I’m not suffering from a never-ending migraine brought on by running in 90-degree heat.
I am not giving up on running. Not by a long shot.
What I am doing is becoming aware of my limits and deciding not to let them get me down. When I read that I struggled getting in runs last summer too for the same reasons I’m having trouble now, I realized that beating myself up is about the least productive thing I can do.
I’m still a runner, just a runner on hiatus. A runner choosing to take a break until the weather and schedules are more cooperative. A runner eagerly awaiting the beginning of the school year so that routines can be set in place again. A runner admitting temporary defeat.
So maybe I’m not the great, dedicated runner I want or appear to be. I’m okay with the choices I’m making.
And I’m not worried – I’ll know I’ll be back in full force before too long. :)