Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Crisis of Faith

I've been having a tough time with my running lately.

Last weekend was the Shamrock'n 1/2 marathon. The weather was awful (cold, wind, rain) - the worst I've ever run in, even worse than the Madison Marathon (fondly referred to as the "Madison Monsoon" because of the rainy conditions) because the wind and temperatures were so harsh. I made a miscalculation in my running gear for the Shamrock'n and took my pants off early in the course, which meant that my legs got really cold and stiff in the mid part of the course up along the levee. I even had to walk a little bit between miles 10 & 11. Bleah. So my final time was actually my personal worst 1/2 marathon time (1:54 with an 8:43 pace). Even though I know the reasons for my poor performance, I was/am still disgruntled and unhappy.

And over the past week or so, including my 10.5 mile run yesterday with the Fleet Feet folks, running has been making me feel worse about myself rather than better. I find myself questioning why I'm doing it, what I'm getting out of it or want to get out of it, what my goals are. I keep looking at running with a negative spin in terms of what I didn't accomplish ("I didn't improve on my 1/2 marathon time") instead of what I did accomplish ("I just ran 13.1 miles in nasty weather!").

I'm not sure why my reactions and feelings have changed. And it's very frustrating, because running has been an anchor for me, part of my center, for at least the past 5-6 years. So now I find myself thrown off course and unsure about how to find an even keel again. For me, this really feels like a crisis of faith.

My short-term goal is trying something new - working on my speed for the 5K. I plan to do the Zoo Zoom on April 9th to see if I can place within my division (past year results from the event suggest this is a reachable goal). I'm curious to see if having this type of goal keeps me motivated or helps me to find new inspiration to run. I've never thought of myself as a fast person so I've always brushed aside any real focus on speed, and it'll be interesting to see how my body (and mind) react to this new focus.

I have a suspicion, however, that I may need to just take a full-blown break from running after that event to clear the chatter of my mind and reflect on exactly why I do this and what it means to me.

Maybe that will help me rediscover my faith.


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