A few weeks ago, my mom texted me about two upcoming races the weekend before our cruise. Miles For Moffitt, benefiting cancer research, and the Inaugural Police Appreciation Run, which is in honor of the three St. Petersburg police officers who were killed in the line of duty earlier this year. There’s something special about running a race that’s benefiting something good so at first, I was all for it. Both races had 5K options so I was like, “Sure!”
But as I got to thinking about it, I decided against running in either race. While there is no doubt I could finish them, even if it meant walking, I just don’t feel like putting that pressure on myself anymore.
After the Iron Girl, I decided to take a big step back from running to re-evaluate why I’m trying so hard for something I don’t think I really like. Running has been something I’m too stubborn to give up completely. There’s this part of me that keeps getting out there, keeps trying, in the hopes that it will one day become easier and I will one day love it as much as other people do.
It still hasn’t happened.
But I’m still trying. I decided to start from the basics again. I think I took on too much, too soon and signing up for a half-marathon when I wasn’t even in 5K shape was a big mistake. Every run made me doubt my abilities and hate the sport more and more. When I dropped down to the 5K, I felt major relief and I know I want to be able to run 3 miles with ease. I’m not sure if I will ever run a half-marathon, but I still have this fighting need to be able to run at least 3 miles.
So I went back to my faithful friend, Mr. Couch to 5K. I’m not sure how many times I’ve used this program, but this is probably my fifth or sixth attempt. The problem is, I always have an upcoming race when I start the program and abandon it to just run so I can be ready come race day. This time, I am no longer signing up for races until I finish the program. In fact, I’m not looking to sign up for another race until November. I want to give myself enough time to get into shape and be able to run a successful 5K without having to stop for frequent walking breaks.
Back to this weekend. I decided against running in either race, instead came as my mom’s little cheerleading section as she conquered the Miles for Moffitt 5-Miler and the Inaugural Police Appreciation 10K Run. Since her marathon in January, the farthest my mom has run was four miles so she was a bit worried about how she’d do. She needn’t have worried because she kicked some major arse in both races, absolutely crushing her 10K PR by ten minutes. Have I mentioned lately that my mom is a rock star? Because she is.
And me? I got to enjoy these past two mornings with no pressure on myself. All I had to do was wake up early, don some sweatpants, grab my Kindle, and hit the road. While it certainly was inspirational to watch the runners, I didn’t feel that bite in my side that I should be out there. I felt calm and relaxed, knowing that if I so choose, I could one day be out there running with them.
But maybe not.
Because I’m finally learning that there is nothing wrong with hating to run. I have given the sport enough shots, enough chances, that if I make it through Couch to 5K and still hate running, I can walk away knowing I tried everything I could to like it. And it’s not the end of the world if I don’t.