Just Keep Swimming

5 Oct

As I said in my post yesterday morning, I woke up Saturday night with a lot of running-related anxiety. The concept of running-related anxiety is perplexing because running is typically an anxiety reducer. I can tell when I haven’t been running. I’m tenser. I’m stressed. Therefore, I run. To be stressing about my stress-reliever definitely caused me to lose a little sleep. I honestly thought about quitting. Maybe this whole long distance running thing isn’t for me. Maybe I’m just not cut out for it. Maybe I can just continue to run 3 or 4 miles a few times a week. That wouldn’t be that bad, would it? Actually, I think I would get bored of that. Not having a goal would inevitably cause me to lose all motivation to run. That’s when I remembered: I like a challenge. I like pushing myself. I crave competition.

Let’s go back a few years and explain how I started running. I grew up riding horses competitively. I love to ride.

When I was 22, the horse I’d had since I was 5, Jesse, passed away due to complications from colic. That was a devastating blow to me. His death also signified the death of my riding career. I didn’t buy another horse after that. I occasionally rode a friend’s horse, but that was minimal at best.

Throughout my life, whenever I was stressed out, I rode. It calmed me down. Riding was my Xanax. When I no longer had that option, I noticed a significant upward trend in my stress level. I didn’t know what to do about it. This continued on for about two years. The stress became unbearable when I moved down to Melbourne with Brandon. I didn’t know anyone there. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have any money. I was crying every single day. This was my breaking point.

I knew I had to do something with my time while I was looking for a job. So, I started to run. Why running? I’d always been jealous of the runners I saw at the park and along the road. I wanted to be one of them too! So, slowly but surely, I ran. And after a few weeks, for the first time in my life, I could run a mile! I thought that was amazing. Yet, for the next 6 months, I struggled trying to increase my mile to two. Eventually, I stumbled upon Couch-to-5k, and that helped me run 3 miles. Then I ran a 5k (Miserably, might I add), and a 6k (much better). And now, here I am, training for a half-marathon.

Two years ago, if you would’ve told me I’d be training for a half-marathon, I would’ve laughed in your face. I would’ve told you that you were talking gibberish.
Looking back at how far I’ve come, I know I can’t stop now. I know that I would regret it if I did quit. I know I’m not the only one to have ever felt this way, and I’m sure as hell not the last. I realize that these long runs should be pushing outside the boundaries my comfort zone. I have to expand it in order to improve and grow stronger. I just have to keep pushing. As Dory would say, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.” What a great mantra.

There doesn’t seem to be enough coffee in the world to fuel me this morning. I took two Tylenol PM last night to ease the soreness in my body. I think it’s still working its magic on my body because I definitely feel pretty exhausted. I still can’t quite bring myself to drink the Office Mud though. Breakfast consisted of my new favorite: yogurt, apples & Multi-grain Cheerios

Mmm mmm! Tonight is Book Club with the ladies, and this month we’re reading, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.

I was not a fan. It had moments of brilliance surrounded by chunks of lackluster prose. It was hard to follow and extremely deranged.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Monday!

2 Responses to “Just Keep Swimming”

  1. Angie Eats Peace October 5, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    I like your perspective on running. Hopefully you can find the right balance that works for you.

  2. Meredith October 5, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    I think it's so interesting what running does for different people. I love Dora's mantra.

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