Ever since Musselman, running has felt hard. Sure I had a few good runs after our 70.3, including a 5K PR, but the last week or two has felt tough and my paces are indicative of that struggle.
I didn't get in to running because I thought it was going to be easy, honestly I just wanted a way to get back into shape and to have something that Mike and I could do together. Now, it has morphed into something more, something that I can't live without just like air. I get frustrated when every run, or so it seems to me, is tough. And I don't mean 10x800 meters kind of tough or 20 mile run kind of tough, I mean panicking that I might not make it home because of stomach issues kind of tough, legs refusing to work and forcing me to walk kind of tough and struggling to get through a basic 4 mile run kind of tough.
I know that some of it is mental and I also know that running has its ups and downs. I think that since Musselman I have been craving an "up", more than a 5K PR kind of up. I haven't had that run where I felt like I was flying, floating, and didn't want it to end in a long time.
I think what I am going through is normal. We all experience it, or at least most of us do. Most of us are not naturally gifted and have to work, at least somewhat, to get to where we want to be as runners, and that is one reason I love being a runner and triathlete. That isn't to say that I am a complete anomaly and I shouldn't be an athlete, but most of my "talent" has derived from hard work and dedication rather than the perfect combination of genetics.
Would I love running as much if it came easily to me? Probably not. The best way I can compare what I am going through right now is to compare it to my job as a sign language interpreter. There are days when I feel like I am the best interpreter in the world, somewhat of an overstatement but you know what I mean, and then there are other days when I feel like I don't even know what sign language is anymore. Those days that challenge me as an interpreter push me to get better and to grow, and the same can be said for running.
A time when I felt like I was flying
Usually when we go through rough patches it is temporary and improvement is right around the corner. I hope that this time of struggle and wondering if I am really cut out for this is a sign of good times to come.
I can say that I am happy that I can still run and I will always run for as long as I am able, even if it isn't as fast or as far as I would like at that moment.