So, my 6-month run challenge came (quietly) to an end last week and I have been racking my brains on how I wanted to recap my journey. As I look through post after post of the last 6 months of running, I see a few common themes: consistency, run-volutions and…as much as I hate to admit it, the frustrating head case that I *still* am from time to time whenever I run.
I do, however, think the biggest progress for me in this journey has been this: being at peace with running happy miles and not *for* mileage. Yeah, there are days that I wish I had the endurance and distance in me that I once did. Sure, my mind meanders to ‘what-if’ I try again (to work towards another half marathon). But at the end of the day, I really really still have a big issue with running a mental run. Even though I have improved substantially in not panicking, steadying my breathing and focusing on…less focus when I run, it still happens. It still rises up in me in certain instances (heat, and conversely, cold!), up hills, on longer runs, etc. And until I really beat that, I honestly think that running another half marathon will end up in the same result – frustrating, panicked and running a race I am not proud of. Not that a half marathon is even my goal or end-all-be-all. Because it’s not. We all know racing is not for me. But it still is something I want to do. There, I said it. It is. I won’t deny it. But it’s not the main goal. The main goal remains…not to run a mental run.
So while I still have a problem with the mental (run) game, this challenge has done WONDERS for me, because I have finally gotten to a point where I embraced the dreadmill (in the winter), AND intervals (and rocked them several times), AND running outside IN the winter, AND sustaining some good mileage (5-7 mile range in the winter whereas previously, it would have been 3-4 – max). I am also finally at a point where I trust running to be my main cardio source (with a dash of spinning sometimes to mix it up), because not only do I truly LOVE it, it is ultimately the best workout for me and magic bullet with barre n9ne.
This challenge…is not over. I am still a work in progress. But I am okay with that, because a physical challenge should always be just that: a challenge. It should never get ‘easy’ and it should also push me out of my comfort zone. Thus why I love to run. And thus why I *will* rock the mental game too.
Thank you for all of your support, friends, I have loved sharing this journey with you all, even if you aren’t a runner, because I truly think some of the messages and learnings here are universal. Now I think I will pick myself up and dust myself off and go for a kick ass run tomorrow, with M by my side. Pushing myself just a little bit farther.