Lately I've just been unhappy with my running. Almost every run stresses me out in some way. Even if it's really good I question whether or not I should have actually gone that fast or that far. I have been questioning every aspect of my running. I lost all of my joy. I overthink it analyze it to death. I would say it's been a good three months since I was just happy.
The reasons why this happened don't really matter. What matters is that I figured out what they were and am working on fixing it. One thing I've decided is that I just want to be a lot more private about my runs. No more sharing every run with dailymile or facebook or my friends. Or really anyone. That doesn't mean I won't post about my runs sometimes. I can't help myself! I no longer want anyone else knowing every single detail of my runs though. When that starts happening I start relying too heavily on their opinion and that isn't good for me. My opinion is really the only one that matters when it comes to running.
I also (finally!) realized I need to find my confidence from within. I can't rely on anyone else or even a group of people to make me feel good about my running. I need to feel good about it without any input from anyone else. I don't know why this is so hard for me, but it is. I know that I've made giant leaps since coming back from my hysterectomy. I'm running more often than I ever have and running more miles. I'm much more consistent and make less excuses. However, I have this big group of ultra running friends that are all doing far more than I am. I started measuring myself against them and coming up pretty short. A friend of mine told me she wished I would just measure myself using a normal measuring stick. You know what? When I did I realized I'm pretty darn happy with what I'm doing. Could I do more? Of course. I skip too many long runs and take the easy way out too often and make too many excuses. I think whether they are willing to admit it or not, a lot of runners do this. People might like to think of themselves as better than others and pretend their excuses are more valid, but in the end, who cares? You either follow your training plan to the letter or you don't. The reasons why don't matter at all. And really, I've discovered that I don't need to make excuses. If I don't run when I was supposed to I don't need to tell anyone why. I decided not to run that day. I might have a very valid reason and I might just be lazy. Whatever. I'm no longer willing to let anyone else hold me accountable. I have to hold myself accountable. I'm the only one that gets to be disappointed by my running.
I'm going into Flatrock next weekend with no goal other than to finish and have fun. If it takes me 10 hours (that's the cutoff) to finish I don't really care. A finish is a victory. I'm not willing to pressure myself to do more than that because that's when I start freaking out mentally. If I'm off my desired pace just a little bit I deem myself a failure and then it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I'm just going to do what I can on that day and be pleased with what happens. I'm not going to let myself cross another finish line feeling like a failure. When I finish I'm going to remind myself that I just completed a 50k on a course that most people would never dream of running one mile on, let alone 31. I will be happy and confident knowing that I did the best I could on that day.