In the past couple of months, I’ve been asked that question quite a bit. My blog has gone dark, I’m no longer posting sweaty selfies, and I’ve just generally been pretty quiet.
The truth is, a few days after that happy-go-lucky 10K run in March as part of my half-marathon training, I decided I didn’t want to do anymore.
Nothing dramatic pushed me to that point. I am blessed. I really don’t have much to complain about in my personal life. That being said, I had started feeling pretty blah about my routine. I can’t pretend it wasn’t my hardest winter in years.
So I took a hard look at the circumstances within my control, and decided to make a few changes to be happier as soon as possible.
First, I cancelled my plans to run a half-marathon in Ottawa in May. My heart just wasn’t it.
With my past two half-marathons and one full marathon, I had no problem feeling motivated about actually finishing the training and the race. All I had to do was picture the finish line, the medal and the cheering crowd. But that tactic wasn’t really working for me this time around.
That’s when I decided to cancel my trip to Ottawa. Next, I repurposed the money I would have spent travelling to Ontario … and booked a trip to Jamaica!
My husband and I went to Ochos Rios for a week in early April and attended our friends’ wedding while there. It was such an amazing experience. Every cliché you could ever think about a soul-balm-heart-healing tropical vacation – I felt them all.
I know not everyone can pick up and fly south, but if it’s at all possible for you, I suggest grabbing life by the horns and just doing it.
During my time off from running I really listened to my body and it was fairly clear that it could only handle gentle exercise.
I went for walks and did yoga. These sessions were so much more fulfilling than I ever expected. I never felt guilty about not being out there with the other runners outside, plodding down my street. That’s how I knew I had made the right decision.
Meanwhile, I’ve been listening and waiting patiently to get that itch back. After all, completing a marathon a year ago was one of the happiest days of my life. I knew I wasn’t done with running forever.
Spring is here now. The snow is gone. I turned our heater off. I put my boots away. I purged the clutter in my house. I am dreaming of summer adventures. And yes, the itch to get back into running has finally shown up.
Even though I’ve been dealing with a stubborn bout of bronchitis, I’ve already been out for a few run/walks.
My first sweaty selfie in a very long time – after my 3K run this morning before work.
The excitement about potential races is starting to swirl around in my brain again. I won’t be wearing a Garmin anytime soon. I will be taking walk breaks. But I know I’ll be doing it because I really want to, because it feels good, and not for any other reason.