Thursday, August 30, 2012

I almost gave up running

I don't think it will come as a surprise when I say I love to run.  It brings me joy. It's an outlet for my emotions. It's a way for me to feel strong. 

I almost gave up running this summer.

Now that might come as a surprise.  I never thought I would utter those words. I never thought I would have those thoughts. However I spent several weeks wondering if I should continue with the sport or call it quits. Quit running. Quit triathlons.  Quit.

You might say that I was still suffering from post-pardum.  I would agree, yes, I am still adjusting. However there was more to it than that.  You might even say that I was just down on myself because of some health issues. Yes, those pissed me off but I knew they were temporary.

I almost gave up running because I felt I wasn't good enough

There. I said.  I felt like I wasn't good enough to continue with the sport.  Good enough for what?  Good enough for who? 

I spent a good part of last year training for my second half marathon. I did speed work. I started running with other people who were better than me. I saw myself improving. I got into running more. I found people who also loved it. People I could talk to, I could run with, I could share my highs and my lows. People who would encourage me and give me the support I so desperately needed.  I felt like I had finally found a place where I belonged. I found a community that I was welcomed to.

I lost all of that. ALL of that.  Yes, I was pregnant. Yes I continued to run.  Yes I had to watch my heart rate and I had to play it safe.  I was ok playing it safe and running slower. What I didn't expect was to lose the friendships I had cultivated.  I didn't expect to be told people wouldn't run with me because I was slow. I didn't expect to lose the support and encouragement that I needed to continue running through the pregnancy pain.

I felt that I lost all of that because I wasn't good enough to run with them.  I was too slow. I'm a horrible runner. I suck at the sport. My personality wasn't enough for them to want to slow down to spend time with me.  The person I was outside of running wasn't good enough for them to be my friend when I couldn't run with them anymore.

I've watched people get faster. I've watched them get better. I've watched them hit highs. I've watched from afar.  Because I'm not good enough for them to want to share this with me.

I spent a lot of time chasing this.  Trying to get back into shape right away.  Convincing myself if I could just prove that I was worth their time, they would want to spend time with me again and run with me and talk to me.

I hit several highs while I was pregnant. I wasn't supported by those I considered friends. I felt this was because they felt that even though it was a high for me, I still wasn't good enough for them.

I almost gave up running because I lost the joy of it. I was no longer doing it for myself. I was doing it so maybe others would like me and feel I was worthy. 

It has been hard for me to watch others running with each other. To watch others do races they've never done before. To watch others bond through this sport. To watch others train for things.  To watch them do all this while talking to one another and not me. Not sharing in the adventure with me.  Because I wasn't at the same level. Because I wasn't good enough.

Deep down I know that in most cases this wasn't true. It wasn't that I wasn't good enough, it's that we weren't training for the same thing.  It's that they did need to work on pace and therefore had to run faster. I also  think that they didn't realize how important the social runs were for me.  How were they to know that most of my friends live in other states.  They didn't know that social runs were how I hung out with people, something I crave.  Deep down I tell myself this.  Unfortunately because of my past I have a hard time believing this. I still feel like I'm not good enough. 

I almost gave up running because I lost the real reason I run.  For ME.  It's not about how fast I am compared to others. It's not about how soon I'll be able to do an outdoor triathlon.  It's not about whether or not I'm good enough. It's about how I feel when I'm out there running. It's about how I feel when I set a goal and I smash it.

I didn't give up because I can't quite. Running is part of who I am.  Is it still hard to see others get together and run without asking me?  Yes. It's gut wrenching.  Do I understand that it's not because they feel I suck as a runner? Sometimes.  I'm working on it.  Is it still hard to see people I considered friends hit highs and train for new adventures and not include me in the process? It's excruciating. Do I understand that I need to let this go? I do.  It's going to take time though.   In the meantime, I'll continue working on my goals. I'll continue working on my highs.  Is it sad when I hit a high and realize the people I would have shared it with no longer care?  It's devastating.  Do I realize I need to let it go and focus on the fact that I need to do this for myself and not their approval?  Some days.

I've felt so alone most of my life. I felt I had finally found a place I belong.  I felt I was finally making friends with similar goals and hobbies. Then the walls came crashing down on me.  I've been trying to pick myself up, but it's taking time. More time than I would like.  But I have hope that I'll get there.


  1. Oh this makes me soooo sad :( As someone who is just really getting into the running thing and is desperatly hoping to keep running if/when we ever get pregnant I'm sooo bummed you had to go throught with this. I think I'm 'lucky' the serious one of my group....

  2. Amber - It's been very very hard but I'm doing so much better now. Therapy helps. haha! I have a lot of self-image issues and that played a huge part in what happened and how I took things. Hormones don't help either. haha! Fingers crossed that when you get pregnant your friends will continue to run with you. Maybe not every weekend, but once a month or so. The encouragement will do wonders. And of course..I will provide as much virtual encouragement as I can!!!! You can send me emails whenever!