What if running becomes who you are

Looking at my running statistics, my kilometers logbook or my actual motivation level I feel like running failed me. Or no, it’s better to say, that I failed my running.
When running becomes who you are, it’s not always a positive thing. Not in that case. I always identify myself to it. If someone asks me where I come from, what I do, who I am. I will find a way to tell you I am a runner, that I feel like a runner. Actually, I live my running every day even when I am not training. My focus is totally oriented on that topic. I read, talk and watch videos every day about it. And I have been dreaming at least four times a week about running since months.
It’s a reality.
It’s an obsession.
When running becomes who you are, you lose it.
And I lost it.

The running is just an added bonus, it’s that special thing that we’re passionate about, so that drive us. If you get disappointed by running, then it’s not running that your actually disappointed in, it’s yourself. – Anna Frost

 

The big hole

After all the dramas happening in February/March, the only positive thing I had was to rely on my training for the Paris Marathon, getting obsess with my nutrition and the kilometers I ran or missed. I was damned fit and closed the race in a time I could only dream of. But that was in April. After that… a big hole. Post-race depression I guess. Nothing was planned. For the first time since I run, I had no other goal, no other race but was seeing all runners around me chasing the next opportunities, the next event or the next big adventure, a mountain to climb, a forgotten area to explore. And me? I wasn’t able to get up, and run. Except maybe for that race in June where I discovered the beauty of the trails. But that was it. My next big race was supposed to be in October. No later than last week I called it off. No training. Starting a new job wasn’t an easy transition either.

When racing defines you as a runner

I liked to think that if the racing would disappear, I would still be running.
Because I love running you know. It’s my passion. So why should I stop? I get so much out of it.
It’s meditation,
it’s my problem solver,
it’s my source of inspiration
my motivator,
it’s the way I find myself again.
But this year? I realized that I let racing define who I was as a runner. No race planned, so no training? Like… really?
So… what if running becomes who you are?
When I hear that friends talk about me by defining me as a runner “oh she ran this race and this race” or “she is a great runner.” I just want to play the game of ostrich and bury my head in the sand. In these moments, I felt like a fraud more than every other day. I like to say I am a runner because I usually feel like it. But I lost it. I lost my running mojo. And it’s hard to get back into it. I am not training, I don’t run high mileage races every weekend in the mountains or on the streets. I feel embarrassed when people tell me how great my running is. Because I struggle with it at the moment.

I am a runner, and…

…I know I cannot have ups all the time. The downs are part of our running lives I guess.
So I decided to take one step at the time.
To accept that it’s okay if I don’t log 50 to 70 miles a week
That it’s okay to do alternative training for a while.
And that it’s okay to not race too much.
I am working on my obsession. Having such an excessive personality is sometimes tricky to handle – yeah I tend to tired myself out on my own.
One step at the time means running when I feel like running.
Without the pressure of any racing preparation.
One step at the time means running without paying attention about how fast I run or how long I move on my feet – that is the most tricky part to me.
But hey! I will get there.
I feel 2016 is going to be a great running year.

If running becomes who you are, do it the right way. Be gentle to yourself. Don’t let the racing or negative thoughts take your passion down.

 

PS: my shoes cemetery… Waiting for me to take them out!

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