In the blink of an eye, we are in September. Admittedly, I haven’t been great about writing this year. Between family, work, training, coaching, and everything else life has thrown into the mix this year, it’s been hard to find time (or motivation) to put together a coherent thought. However, my run this morning got me thinking. The weather was awful (again). Humid. Soggy. Muggy. Intermittent rain turned to thunderstorm. I had a really crappy run, but I had some really great company. It’s funny how you can give someone else advice, yet at the same time, do exactly the opposite. But the reality that I came face to face with this morning is that we all have “something.” Maybe that’s why running is so therapeutic. It’s not the miles logged or the pace run, it’s having the chance to find people who “get” you (and who hopefully, you can reciprocate to).
So far this year has had a lot of really great things happen (I’ll write a better summary post later). On paper, I can’t complain. I have had some solid races and have hit times I never thought I’d see again. I’ve been slowly repairing that “chip on my shoulder” when comparing my performances against my 2013 self. I’ve set new PRs in the 5k (twice), 8k, and 10k. I’ve completed workouts I never thought I could finish. I’ve seen glimmers of hope that someday, maybe, I’ll get back to where I’ve been working so hard the last 5 years for.
Then there’s the side of things that doesn’t translate from Strava records or Instagram photos. The fact that even though a run shows up great on Strava, the entire time was spent in both a physical and mental battle.
The chronic anxiety (which has nothing to do with running) but that impacts every aspect of life (including running). Panic attacks (over seemingly nothing). An unpredictable thyroid and hip which flare up on their own schedule, with no warning. The wanting so bad to take control over these things and “fix” them. The not knowing how and the frustration that comes with that feeling of helplessness.
I have to remind myself to stop expecting perfection.
Who is lucky enough to ever have the perfect training cycle? With perfect weather and no aches or pains. Everyone has something (and those who don’t are few and far between). The key is finding those who can help you weather the storm.
It’s cliche, but gratitude helps (and Deena Kastor agrees – read her book Let Your Mind Run). Today I am grateful for the miles I did run. For the friendships that running has brought me. For how running has changed my life for the better.