I recently took over a month off from running or really any type of physical activity for a multitude of reason. I wasn't planning on a break it just kind of happened. One day turned into three days and that turned into 3+ weeks. I would think about running daily but just couldn't push myself out the door. For me running is now a part of who I am---what helps to make me "Shelby". I felt like I was at a crossroads---could I push myself to start again or was this really the end of my identity as a runner. When I had the thought for the first time about not being a runner anymore it made me stop and really think of the most popular question in the running community...
What is my "why"?
You'll hear this a lot---it's exactly what it sounds like, it's the reason why you run. Especially now during COVID-19 times this has become a hot topic with no races on the horizon. I've given thought to my "Why" a lot. At first it was to get healthy, then it was to stay healthy, to eat an embarrassing amount of pizza, show my daughter how to be active, etc etc. All valid reasons but sometimes still not enough to push you out the door. I haven't struggled to get motivated a lot with my running but with so much happening in the world/life the motivation factor was low. Until I took a break from running I honestly didn't realize just how much I need running. I have very few things that I LOVE to do and while I love my family, running is what I do for ME.
I get what I decide to put in.
Its the one time of day that it's almost all about me and how far I go—literally and figuratively. My daughter could care less what my pace is but when I hit a new PR I feel accomplished and get to see my hard work come to life. I can listen to my music or podcasts with little interruption by work, kid, laundry or my million items on my to do list. Some of my best ideas have come when I was running and I feel like my mind relaxes and my creative ideas come to life. I thought of starting this blog on a run one day and found the oomph to hit publish after hitting a new pace. When I finally reach a new time goal or push just a smidge farther than I thought I could it makes me feel like “Ok, if I can do this now then XYZ can’t be as unmanageable as I thought” it sounds corny but running helps me push through the mental blocks that come with every day life. Even though I may never win a race or get a BQ, the fact that I’m pushing and trying is enough for me. I don’t expect to be the best or the fastest but I expect myself to keep pushing and trying. Every run, cross training day or even a rest day is a stepping stone to a bigger picture. Why do I run? Because I'm lucky enough to be able to.