I think I’ve fallen out of love with running…

I think I’ve fallen out of love with running…

Whenever I run a big race I always take time off from running afterwards.  That could mean 2 weeks, it could mean 2 months.  During that time I usually lace up my running shoes a handful of times, but I never wear my Garmin and I don’t put any pressure on myself.  After my last race my running hiatus lasted over 6 months.  But I truly believe my body needed that rest.  I was completely burned out after that last training cycle.

I know I’ve mentioned it on here before, but my hometown (and where I currently live) is hosting their first half marathon this October.  It seemed like fate, the perfect time to go for that sub 1:59 half.  So in May I started running more.  I added in some early-morning runs, some stroller runs, and had gotten my long run up to 5 miles.  I was feeling good.  Ready to start the official 12-week training program on July 17th.

But something strange kept happening.  I had gotten my pace down to around 9:20/mile, but then it wouldn’t budge.  I know how to get faster.  Hill repeats, sprints, tempo runs.  But I had absolutely no desire to do any of those things.  So I kept running, and tried to convince myself that I was okay with that pace.  I even contemplated running the October half “for fun.”  But anyone who knows me knows I can’t do that.  I’ve never in my life gone into a race with the idea that I would just enjoy the experience.  Nope.  I’m either all-in or I’m not racing.

So a few weeks ago Nathan and I started talking about the race, and how if I was going to register I would need to start training soon.  And I admitted to him that I didn’t think my heart was in it.  I tried to envision myself waking up at 5am to do a hill repeat workout in the heat and humidity; I thought about our family vacation to the Outer Banks next month and how my long run would be up to 8 or 9 miles.  And how I would need to wake up early to get in at least 2 other runs during that week.  I thought about running 12 miles this fall on a Saturday morning when the rest of my family would be headed out to kayak or hike.  And I started to wonder if this is really what I want.

Nathan is always supportive of anything I do.  He was a saint last year when I was training for Philly, as I had no energy for him in the evenings because I would be passed out on the couch by 9pm every night.  No lazy weekend mornings spent sipping coffee on the porch.  Nope.  I was *always* out running or recovering from running.  Or we were talking about running.  Luckily he’s a retired distance runner, so he “gets it.”  But still, those 12 weeks were long for both of us!

What he said really resonated with me.  “Taryn, sometimes things in your life die.”  He talked about things he did during his life that he always assumed would be part of who he was.  Soccer.  Mountain bike racing.  Long distance running.  But today none of those things exist in his life.  And he has no desire to do any of them either.  However, he’s replaced those things with other hobbies.  Intense gym workouts.  Gardening.  Furniture building.  You can say he has evolved as a person.  So maybe this is happening to me as well?

So I’ve decided I am NOT going to register for that October half marathon.  And I honestly don’t know if I will run another half again.  I proved to myself that I could break 2 hours, which was a dream I chased for 4+ years.  I proved I could commit to a training schedule and gym workouts and PR once again.  If the Philly Half Marathon last September is the last half I ever run, that’s a great race to retire to!

I’m not giving up running for good.  I still think there is nothing like an early morning run when it’s just me and nature (and a good playlist of course).  I love taking the kids in the jogging stroller and letting them get out and sprint up hills.  The annual Turkey Trot will always be something I do.  But I think I’m done with racing.  No more training plans.  No more “I have to run 6 miles in the morning.”  Running will be something I do when and if I want to, and I’ll probably retire my beloved Garmin as well (that’s been with me on almost every single run for the past 11 years!)

Your turn.  What sport/hobby have you retired?  Any retired runners out there?  What new hobby did you replace it with?

 

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Taryn

I'm Taryn. Welcome to my blog! I'm a runner, hiker, and fitness enthusiast working every day to model these behaviors for my 2 young children. I have a passion for preparing delicious and healthy food for my family. Keep reading to see how we define our version of a healthy family.

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6 thoughts on “I think I’ve fallen out of love with running…

  1. This sounds very familiar! I went through exactly this while running half marathons a few years ago. The training just seemed to take up too much time and it wasn’t fun anymore. I backed off and ran shorter distance races for a few years until chronic injuries forced me to give up even that two years ago. I was cross training but running was the thing I did to stay sane. I was kind of lost for a while. This year I’ve had two hip surgeries to finally fix the injuries but my doctor has advised that my running days are officially over. At first it was tough to accept. Really tough. But then I was able to see it as an opportunity to try new things and challenge myself in different ways. I reminded myself that at age 49 my fitness goals need to be more focused on longevity and maintenance rather than PRs. I’ve take a broader view of fitness with more focus on strength training, agility and flexibility. And flexibility doesn’t just refer to how far I can bend but also to the different ways that I can approach fitness. Do I still want to head out for a 6 mile run on a beautiful day now and then? Of course! But looking at the big picture this is a more balance approach that works for me.
    Bravo to you for stepping back, reflecting and making the choice to let go of what wasn’t fun anymore. On to the next thing!

    1. Great comment! I love this! And I agree that longevity is so important. Where do we want to be at age 70, or 75, or 80? That usually brings me back to the present and puts things into perspective. I agree it’s so hard to let things go, but usually something even better takes its place. Thanks again for visiting (and commenting)!

  2. I agree with Nathan that some things just fade out from your life. Running has faded from my life too but, as you know, has been replaced with strength training and HI IT. I loved running but it also beat me up over the years. My back and knees are much happier now! Love that you’re still doing the short runs. I still enjoy a good 5k.

    1. I agree that running can definitely beat your body up over time, especially if you’re running primarily on pavement. I have seen SO MANY more positive changes to my body since starting HIIT. And I promise I will still pop into Hillsborough once in awhile so we can do our runs after class 🙂

  3. Good for you for deciding not to register for the October half! Sometimes you just need to listen to you body and your heart, and if neither are “in it” that is perfectly OK and to be honored so you can make room in your life for what does fulfill you right now.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting (and commenting), Heather! I know you can relate to this as well. Always important to make room in your life for what is makes you happy 🙂

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