I struggle with running… There, I admit it…
I just run. I loved the social part of running. In the past, I didn’t claim to be a runner even though I have finished many 50Ks, 50-milers and a 100-miler.
It has been almost five years since I ran a race. In January 2020, I won the lottery… well, I won the trail runners lottery. I received confirmation at the end of January that I will be running the Spring Superior 50K in May. I almost started to cry, not because I am scared but because I am overjoyed. I miss the trail running community, runs in the early morning, and the solitude of the woods. I have been longing to get back on the trails but have been paralyzed by fear.
After my last attempt at the Fall Superior 100-miler in 2015, I developed exercise-induced panic attacks. When my heart rate would rise, breathing would become difficult. During the worst of the attacks, I blacked out, waking up on my knees with my face in the dirt. I was under an incredible amount of mental and emotional stress that only got worse in the following years with more extreme life changes (for the full stories, read more of my blog).
Now that I have emerged for the other side I find a different kind of struggle. I know that I am very capable to train, build my endurance and run an amazing 50K. Yet somehow I find my subconscious holding me back from being consistent. I know the commitment it takes to ready myself for this distance and what it takes to do it comfortably.
Currently, I am struggling to complete 5 miles. I am in the best overall health of my life. I am lean and strong even though I haven’t run anything over 5 miles in four years. In fact, I haven’t run much at all in the last four years. I understand it’s all in my head. I know that my body will respond very quickly once I process the fear. It doesn’t mean training will be easy, but I am not afraid of hard work. I look forward to time in my place of refuge–the woods.
I decided to take action after realizing where my challenges are showing up in my training. I am processing and planning out what I need to do physically, mentally, and emotionally to show up and have fun weekend playing in the woods. I understand why I struggle. Fortunately, I have all of the tools to move through the mental roadblocks that come along the way on this journey.
I have a daily mediation and spiritual practice that supports my mental and emotional needs. I have my Rufus who is always excited when I put on my tennies and head out for a run. I also have amazing support from my friends who support my personal goals even when they don’t understand why I like to run.
I will practice gratitude for the abilities I work towards and the journey toward the goals I aspire to. I know I am capable of finishing and enjoying this race with my much loved and respected community. I practice every day to keep myself in the present moment and not focus on everyone else’s training. I designed the right training for me and what I am trying to accomplish. I will give my friends and people that I am connected with on social media positive motivation instead of focusing on what I could’ve and should’ve been doing.
I will own it! I am a runner! It’s time to shift my perspective, put on my shoes, go out and run!