The definition of insanity

…is doing something over and over again, expecting a different result. That’s me right now. You might be able to guess where this is going. It can hardly be a surprise and you’re probably as bored as I am about the whole thing. For that I can only apologise, but I assure you no one is more fed up of this than me.

Running and me are taking a break. I’m pretty sure it’s long overdue. Injury after injury. I’m so tired of it all. I’m tired of dreading every run. How will it feel? What’s going to go wrong? And even when it goes OK I still wonder how long will it be before I’m injured again. The injury I have at the moment, which is gradually going away, is merely the straw that broke the donkey’s back.

I was thinking about it over the weekend and I was surprised at how unstressed I was about not running at the moment and how I actually wasn’t missing it. I’m not training for a race so there are no worries. But I let my mind wander to what my feelings would be if the weeks continue and I’m still not running. My heart started to race and I felt myself getting stressed.

My dad asked me why I run, I say “because I love it and enjoy it” and he replied “are you enjoying it at the moment?”. Honestly? No. And I haven’t properly enjoyed it for a while now. I loved the Berlin marathon but every run leading up and the runs after have been tainted by injury or the worry of injuries to come. This isn’t fun anymore.

So I’m going to take a break from running. For how long I have no idea. It might be weeks or it might be months. Deciding this feels like the world has lifted off my shoulders, which in itself says something really. I’m almost certain I will defer London. I want to run London confident and happy after running strong the months before. And, my current injury aside, even if I was running well at the moment I would still feel the same as my head is in a rubbish place – the doubt and the fear is constant. I’ve begun to resent running. I resent how much it consumes my moods and makes me a rather awful person to be around when I can’t run. And it’s not just the marathon, it’s running in general. At the moment I have absolutely no desire to run. The love and enjoyment has disappeared.

I’ve joined a gym (again) and I’m going to do classes, like circuits, spin and body pump, and use the rowing machine (which I always love) and other machines and just do whatever I fancy there. Right now I don’t want to think about running, training plans, marathons, races or injuries. I just want to exercise with abandon – feel the endorphins and sweat. I don’t run to lose weight (ironically I’ve lost weight not running – how weird is that?), I exercise because there’s something so primal and basic about it. You feel accomplished, invigorated and on top of the world. If running can’t do that for me right now, I’ll find something else that will.

The sad thing about this is it’s all so repetitive (I’m sorry). I was in the same position last year and similarly decided to take a break. I think my issue before though was I got back into running as soon as I could and went straight into marathon training for Paris in April and from there it was a spiral of constant running and injuries. This time I just want to do whatever I fancy without any time frames, limits or goals. Who knows, London might still happen but I have no ambition to train for it at the moment or in the coming weeks. I want to go to the gym, sweat it out, get strong and feel good. And hope my love for running will return at some point.

Have you ever felt ‘enough is enough’ with something?

Have you got fed up with a type of exercise?

Are you injury prone? If not, what’s your secret? 😉

12 Replies to “The definition of insanity”

  1. I’m gutted for you Anna, I really am. But you’ve definitely made a wise decision. Personally, I haven’t been training properly since the first week of November. Not because of injury, but because I feel everyone needs to take time away from running once a year at the very least. I’ve been doing a bit to tick over, but that’s about it.

    But the best thing is – I feel so much better for that break. Yes, I’ve lost a little speed and a bit of fitness. But it will return. I’ve focused on core and strength training and have enjoyed some gym classes. I feel fit and strong and I’ve barely missed running (although I know there’s a big difference between choosing not to run and not being able to run because of injury).

    I think your running mojo will return in time, but it’s definitely a wise decision to hold back on it for now (although I really, really hope you can do London!!).
    Autumn recently posted…New Year, New Diet?My Profile

    1. I think you’re absolutely right. Sometimes mentally you need a break – and I’m at that point. Perhaps my body was trying to tell me that before. I actually don’t mind getting slower at running by taking a break as I know I can get it back. At the moment I just want to get stronger and I’m actually very excited to be going to the gym now – madness I’m sure!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…So excitedMy Profile

  2. I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way Anna. I could read a subtext along the lines of what you’ve written here in many of your posts, so I do think you’ve come to a decision that will help you in the long run (absolutely no pun intended). You’ll be back stronger and even faster, whether that’s for London or whenever you wish to race again.

    I admit to having a love-hate relationship with running and I can relate to elements of this post, primarily, ‘I’ve begun to resent running. I resent how much it consumes my moods and makes me a rather awful person to be around when I can’t run.’ This is me in a nutshell. I love running more than life itself, but I am always frustrated by just how much of a hold it has over me and how I fall apart emotionally without it. I hate being 110% reliant on anything, and the amount of stress I go through constantly worrying about injury and freaking out over whether it will be too icy to run in the winter is insane. I don’t run for weight loss either, but sadly it always ends up being a factor because I have the added problem that I pile on weight when I can’t run and it doesn’t come back off again. Ever.

    I must admit to being selfishly excited that I have someone else to natter on to about Body Pump…now Maria won’t have to listen to me enthusing about it all the time ; ) I think you’ll find that taking some time to build up your strength will be immensely beneficial, and you’ve chosen the best possible time of year for a break anyway!

    You mustn’t ever see this decision as giving in or failing in some way. I really wish I had your strength of mind and could follow your example, because I would be a stronger and less injury-prone runner if I did.
    Jess recently posted…Year of Hell…I Mean Running, 2014My Profile

    1. Yeah it’s just awful how running can make me feel so down. I need to take back the control over it.
      It sucks that I don’t actually do the same body pump as you do – it’s my gym’s version I suppose. But it actually destroyed me after doing a 45 minute class, two days later and I still ache. Which either shows it’s a great class or I’m very weak! Probably both I expect… But I am chuffed as otherwise what’s the point eh?
      I’ve gotten over my initial sadness with not running thankfully – though I will always want to get back to, without a doubt – but at least this time I don’t resent having to go to the gym and instead of focusing on more spin classes like I did last time, I’m going to be all over circuits and ‘pump’. I will get stronger!!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…So excitedMy Profile

  3. Basically if you are not enjoying it at the moment, then why do it? It is a shame, but hopefully going to the gym will get those endorphins flowing.
    I am i a grump right now as I still have this cough, and it seems to still be getting worse (actually off work today, even though it’s one of the Christmas play days, as I just could not breathe properly)- I can feel any fitness ebbing away and just feel rubbish.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Not quite s’mores!My Profile

    1. Exactly. I guess I’m not very quick in that respect – I felt like I had to be running to prepare for London. But the thought of London was actually seriously worrying me, how did it get to that point? But I now feel a lot better about it all – just letting myself chill for a bit. I probably will do London, but I won’t stress if in the end I don’t want to or don’t feel I can. Marathons will come and go, mental sanity is precious!! 😉

  4. I absolutely understand that you feel you need to take a break. In the past I have gotten very frustrated with my running and felt like I was doing it because I had to rather than because I wanted to. I think Autumn has it right when she said “I feel everyone needs to take time away from running once a year at the very least”. I felt so refreshed after returning from honeymoon and almost a three week break from running earlier this year. Have a few weeks away and see how you feel then. No point stressing over something you can’t change at the moment anyway and it making you unhappy. You don’t have to make the decision about London until much nearer the time, and like you say you can always defer to experience it next year anyway.
    Although I don’t run for weight loss now it was part of the reason why I began, – but the only time I have ever lost any weight since starting running is during my breaks from running!
    Mary recently posted…Year of Running – 2014My Profile

    1. I completely agree. I think the fact that I’m not even bothered about not running at the moment just shows how much I needed this time off. I think I will do London, but like I said I’m not going to hold myself to it. I want it to be for the joy of it and I want to love it. I’m sure I’ll love running again soon.

  5. Don’t apologise, thats partially what blogging is for – getting stuff off your chest and sharing it with people that understand. I had a similar thing happen with running. I was by no means anywhere near as committed to it as you were, but one day I found that I was dreading each run and only really running for fear of gaining weight. At the time it was the best decision to give it up and now I’m looking forward to doing some running next year and hopefully avoiding any injuries!

    1. Thanks Laura 🙂 It always makes me sad when you talk about how your running went (tho I guess mine has hardly been rainbows and butterflies either!) I hope one day you can get back to it and it’s not as difficult as it was.

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