Between June 4 (after the Ojai Marathon where I ran a good-for-me 4:22) and June 29, I ran one time. I was in Boston and didn't want to leave the city before logging some miles there. Did a grand 2.5. It wasn't a pretty run, either -- the weather was humid and about to rain, and I was running around the airport with a sore ankle that I got from wearing heels for too long during my stay there.
I ran for five days in a row when I was in the Chicago area, mostly for the same reason but also because I had just finished Insanity and needed to do something different. The hotel I was in had a pretty good gym, though stuffy. My 3-4 milers on the treadmill would end in urgency and a good amount of sweat.
Then, back at home, I ran a couple of times on my usual routes. I can't say I felt any different having been away from it for a few months.
I'm about to start P90X, or some variant of it. Where does that leave running?
Running almost always seems like a good idea in my head. When I'm taking a stroll during my lunchtime, I think about how I could probably run the same stretch pretty easily. But I know that isn't true, because I HAVE run those stretches before, and they make me feel like I'm dragging my huge legs up a huge slope. Or sometimes...even in the summer, we get a nice, overcast morning, and I start thinking that running would feel really great. But in those instances in which I actually pull myself out there, I run a mile and then feel too warm and my quads are like bricks. I fight the temptation to walk as much as I can, giving up somewhere around the 2-mile mark. And then I'll run/walk the next mile and struggle to wrap up the last one. It has been this way since last year, yet I've been running pretty good race times this year. Go figure.
I'm not sure how I feel about racing anymore. First of all, I keep struggling with not clocking in fast enough versus training a lot and winding up disappointed with the major time investment that I no longer feel like making. Also, it used to be novel and exciting, but now I feel lost in the stream of people who get faster while I don't, fundraisers (myself included), and somewhat of a lost "cool factor" because most races have become so large and the term "long run" thrown out so casually. Nowadays, I mostly sign up for races because "The Ukrainian" does or because I have some naive belief that it will motivate me to train -- or at the very least, motivate me to run better after a poor-to-me performance.
Then, there's laziness. If I can work out without ever putting on my running shoes, plopping on sunscreen/a hat, finding my Road ID, beating the sun, etc., then yes, I'm going to stay inside, thanks. And driving to the gym for a stuffy environment and treadmill? Thank you, but no.
I used to run because I didn't want to be "untrained," but I think I run for different reasons now. I want to balance out other cross-training that I do, get some fresh air, or use items that required my $$ investment (shoes, Garmin, etc.). I often feel like I NEED to run in order to not have to start back at Square One, but perhaps I'm already there.
One thing I never call myself anymore is a "runner." Even before, I had trouble with that word because I am not very fast or consistent at times. Nowadays, I mostly say that yes, I have run. A lot. These days, I feel more like someone who runs "just for exercise." Is that bad?