But I’m still a runner

I’m in a quite frustrating position. I’m still not running. And I’m not hugely bothered.

Who even am I? I feel like I’m in a really odd place. Normally when I’m injured I feel really down, really frustrated and angry.

Not running, just volunteering at parkrun

Normally going to parkrun and volunteering every week would be hard; watching runners get their parkrun mojo on. I would feel a huge leap of jealously at any runners I drive past. I’d wonder if today is “the day” I’ll try running again before I’ve even gotten out of bed.

But…I’m actually not thinking those things. I mean, it obviously helps that the weather is pretty gnarly. It’s dark, cold, wet and unappealing to be outside. During the warmer months I find it hard because I just want to be outside in the fresh air. But right now all I want to do is hibernate away in fluffy socks and Christmas jumpers.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve not suddenly become a couch potato and happy to lapse into inactivity for days at an end. Quite the opposite. I’m loving the time I spend at the gym right now. I can lift heavy weights without wondering how it will affect my running the next day. I can push my limits of my strength and reach new PBs. I can work on non-running-focused strength training without feeling guilty.

And my gym is lovely and bright, cool not cold and it’s full of other like-minded people. Rather than the dark, lonely streets at ridiculously o’clock in the morning or straight after work, I can skip into the gym at 5.30am and it’s full of people. I don’t converse with these people, good God no! I’m there to workout and my social switch is firmly in the OFF position until I get to work, but I’m around other people and don’t feel like I’m the only person in the world working out.

This is obviously a problem though. I mean it would be a fantastic situation ordinarily…had I not got an impending marathon in February. Every time I think about the marathon I feel a bit stressed and a bit sick. Oh sure I could bin it, but I’d rather not waste the money I already spent on it (a fair chunk) and I do actually want to do it. I just don’t want to train for it.

I only have myself to blame for this situation. Too many marathons, too much running, stupid biomechanical faults, questionable training… Yes I know I’m an idiot when it comes to running in a variety of different ways. But marathons are not 5ks or 10ks, or even half marathons. You can’t decided one week to just enter one and run it in the near future. You don’t know what the situation is going to be like in the months ahead. And this marathon more than most is one you need to apply months and months away from the start date.

I’m just in a sticky situation of not being able to train for a marathon I’m not sure I want to train for. Problematic. I suppose it’s better that I’m feeling indifferent than to be feeling full of despair for not running. Mentally I’m in a good place (increasing nausea and panic attacks for impending marathon aside of course). I just need to hope that I can run soon so I can find the love again… Though I love the gym, I’ll always still be a runner first and foremost.

Have you ever felt demotivated for a race coming up?

What do you consider yourself – a runner, crossfitter, climber, cyclist, etc.?

9 Replies to “But I’m still a runner”

  1. I’ve got better at not running. I ran a whole 15 MINUTES this morning after taking 5 weeks off because of a niggly Achilles and my big turning point was that I actually managed to take 5 weeks off rather than trying to run every other day “just to see if it has got better” (Although I have been making much more use of my gym membership as you have and I LOVE not having to worry about running the day after leg day…because just walking and going up stairs is hard enough)
    It’s a toughie really – I didn’t enter Boston this year specifically because I wasn’t sure if my heart was in marathon training for another consecutive year and now I’m glad I didn’t. But I feel your pain – marathon training is such a long journey where you actually don’t know what is going to happen, especially not a year out. On the plus side, you’re an experienced runner who knows what you can/can’t do better than someone running their first marathon, so use that to your advantage. (Sorry, I’ve realised this actually doesn’t give you any useful advice really, I’m just empathising!)
    Katie @ TheseGirlsDo recently posted…10 things that unnecessarily annoy me at the gymMy Profile

  2. Well, I’m really happy that you aren’t upset about the fact you can’t run right now. I’m one giant green monster at the gym right now – shooting daggers at everyone who is squatting and deadlifting. It makes me so dang jealous, so I’m glad you aren’t where I am!
    On the other hand, I completely understand what you are saying here. It’s like a loss of identity almost and that is what I’m struggling with. If I’m not a lifter, than what am I? I hate running, I hate most forms of cardio, I hate yoga, pilates, etc…..So what does that make me?
    What I’ve finally settled on, is an ATHLETE. I’m a person who loves activity, movement and the feeling of pushing myself. I’m an athlete and even if I can’t lift heavy right now, I’m STILL and athlete who wants to challenge her body daily. So I just have to get creative and find new ways to do that 🙂
    kat recently posted…[WIAW] Going Plant-BasedMy Profile

  3. Great post! I am totally relating to this right now, having just started crossfit I am absolutely loving it and looking forward to going every day. While my calf’s been dodgy this has been awesome as it’s given me something else to focus on and still feel like I’m doing worthwhile exercise rather than just going for a swim or wattbike session. But now they’ve said I can try running again, I’m feeling pretty relaxed about it, not as desperate to get back as normal! I’ve got a marathon too, in April, so I know I’ll need to get my mojo back by Christmas but right now I’m really happy with crossfit!

    I reckon it’s actually a really good thing that you’re going through, if only your February marathon was a month or two later! I suppose it’s like being married for 40 years, throughout the relationship you’re gonna have arguments but in the end you will always love that person more than anything else (hopefully)!! You’ve also had a lot of experience with marathons so even if you’re a bit late really getting back into training you’ll probably still be fine, just try and enjoy it on the day rather than go for a PB? xxx
    April recently posted…The Bristol Food TourMy Profile

  4. 5.30am! I actually first read that as 5.30, thinking you meant after work! I would not think anyone would be in a social mood at that time!
    It’s great that you have other things to enjoy though. And try not to stress about the marathon- I just looked (I was curious) and the cut off is 7 hours, so you know you could walk it in that time- or run walk- just don’t go aiming for any pb’s and you will be fine.
    I am a runner, although this week yoga was’t on and I really missed it.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Encourage Your Kids To Stay Active With These Fun Sports*My Profile

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