When Reality Changes Your Relationship with Running
In 2012 and part of 2013, running was my life. Every weekend I was out somewhere, running something. I was working on trying to build a career post college. I was really excited for the future. I was the inspiration and the role model. I was getting faster every day (Even though I am still uncomfortable with it)
And then real life crashed.
My father, who had been dealing with multiple health issues fell and broke his neck. So for three months my priority was to help the family out, and my running schedule defiantly took a beating. It hurt, but I still was doing everything I could when I could manage to make it work.
Shortly after when he started to heal from his broken neck, he ended up back in the hospital in August. His battle with congestive heart failure, and lung failure had gone to the next level. Yet again, running was about making it work. I ran a few races when I could, but I backed out of doing one marathon. My time commitments changes, and honestly so did my money commitments.
I had to face reality.
I could not do it all, no matter how much I wanted to. I could not be there for my family, afford the schedule of running I wanted to take on, have the time to train for what I wanted. I was still committed to training 5-6 days a week, but some days I was sneaking my training in between medical calls about my father, visits, research, trying to work on my own business ect. There are some people in my life who have said that I should give up everything all together in terms of my running and realize now is the time to focus on my family.
I had actually considered at some point to step back from running. But I realize, I would be giving up on me.
What I have learned, is instead of running being about my weight loss, about getting faster every day; running has become my keep me grounding and keeping me in contact with the strong woman that lives inside of me. Yes, I am juggling a lot of balls in the air. But it does not mean she needs to take a back seat.
After taking almost a year off from marathoning I finished the OKC Memorial Marathon at the end of last month. I set a reasonable but challenging goal for myself, and despite dealing with a 50 MPH headwind for the last half of the course, I accomplished that goal. It may not of been the goal it would have been if I could of focused all my energy on my running, but it was tough, challenging and beautiful.
A lot of us who run, have so much to deal with on our plates, and the one thing I have learned is we can juggle. We don’t have to let what makes us happy go, we just need to reevaluate our goals. I am probably racing three marathons and a handful of smaller races this year, which is a huge decrease from where I was. But I am still choosing to make challenging, manageable goals for myself despite the chaos. I am still choosing to make sure I get a workout in and get that time for me 5-6 days a week. If you are on the fence if you can do it, you can.