Runner identity crisis

by - Sunday, November 09, 2014

So last spring when I was all excited about running and racing, I signed up for a whole bunch of races this fall, and I was so excited to do all of them.

But then I struggled through my first round of training in the summer.

I did my best and wasn't planning to break any records at my first race of the fall -- a half marathon. I just wanted to have some fun with friends, which I did.


But then when I tried to bounce back and keep up my running for the rest of the races, my knee problems set in, and I found myself scratching race after race from my calendar.

Part of me is obviously sad and frustrated that I haven't been able to run, but a small part of me is also relieved to have an excuse to not run all these races.

Perks of working from home...easy to RICE my knee injury.

My heart hasn't really been in running lately. I don't know why. I don't know if it's a phase, if it's running itself, or if it's just racing that I'm over. I used to live for distance running and registering for races and collecting an insane number of medals. But lately, I haven't been feeling it.

Sure there are a million ways I could "fix" this. Find friends to run with, mix things up, focus on shorter races, etc. etc.


But I don't know that it's a problem that needs fixing or if it's even something I want to fix.

I've been enjoying spin class and doing other things to get my fitness fix. But it's weird because running in many ways was and is such a huge part of my identity. (See, for example, the name of this blog.)

If I take running out of the equation, or step away from it for a little bit to focus on other things, then what?

Running used to bring me such joy. I loved it so much. But after a few years of battling injuries, a lot of that joy has slipped away. Now I just feel like I should be running because it's what I'm supposed to do. I mean after all, I'm that crazy runner girl who gets her kicks from amassing an insane number of miles. Right?


I haven't run a single mile in more than two weeks because of my knee, and honestly, I don't miss it that much. Or maybe it's that I don't miss being tied to a training plan or having some race looming over my head.

I'm not really sure. But I do know I like the feeling of not having to run all the time. I like doing other things right now, like spinning. But I don't think I want to step away from running for forever.

Maybe for now, I just need to let myself do the workouts I'm in the mood for, whether it be running or spin or yoga or whatever. And I definitely need to stop throwing money at race entry fees for races I end up not being able to run.

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