With the help of my friends on MFP over the past few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will not continue to train for a 10k or a half-marathon. This was a hard decision to come to as I really feel like I’m letting myself down and giving up. With the help of others, though, I’ve realized that I’m not giving up, and I shouldn’t feel like I’m letting myself down.
Let me explain. I’ve been an “all or nothing” kind of person my whole life. I go big, or go home. I don’t try, I do. And when I stop doing something before I feel I’ve completed it, well, I don’t do that. If I know I won’t complete something, I just won’t start it in the first place. When I do something, I commit to it.
Along with my “all or nothing” attitude (that often negatively impacts my weight loss), if there’s one thing I’ve truly learned from journey, it’s that in order to be successful I have to enjoy what I’m doing. The Atkins diet never worked because I love carbs. Weight Watchers never worked because I didn’t understand how to calculate points and it just seemed silly to pay for a program that essentially counts calories for you. Using the elliptical never worked because my feet always go numb (weird, huh?).
Running was one thing that, with the help of C25k, I learned to really enjoy. I loved the process, and subsequently I now love to run 5k’s. Even on the hardest days of C25k, I really enjoyed myself. But, I started Bridge to 10k, and I have to be honest – I didn’t love it. But I started it, and the “all or nothing” in me told me to keep going. I started it, and I had to finish it. So I kept going. But the more I kept going, the less and less I enjoyed what I was doing, and the more and more I started having excuses for why I couldn’t run on particular days – the run takes an hour and I only have 45 minutes, I need to shower before I go to XYZ place, I’m sick, I’m tired, I’ll just eat really well today.
After I did convince myself to run on particular days, my body doesn’t feel the way it used to when I ran. The way my body feels after I’m on the treadmill for an hour isn’t that invigorating endorphin high I always got from running for 35-40 minutes. It’s pain. It’s my aching knees and cramping calves. It’s relief when the run is over because I’ve been bored for the last 15 minutes. It’s anxiety knowing that the next day I’ll barely be able to walk. And you know, I don’t like that. With the help of my friends on MFP, I’ve realized that there is nothing wrong with running as long as I feel, or as short as I feel, on any given day. I do not have to follow any program other than the one my body lays out for me. I will listen to my body, and run as much as I want, whenever I want.
And for leaving my “all or nothing” mentality in the dust? For once in my life, I’m fine with that.