Monday, October 19, 2009

What is it all for?

This past week has been somewhat of a struggle. I ran. Not much, and not too happily but I did run. I have not lost sight of my goal, that sub 2 hour Seattle Half. But there comes a time, I think, when every runner asks themselves, “What is it all for, anyway?” At the end of the day what does running mean to me? Sometimes it is a pain in my a@$, sometimes it is the only thing I can think about, sometimes I can’t think straight until I have a good run behind me, sometimes it makes me feel down on myself, not good enough, or fast enough (thankfully those days are rare). But really, running is for me. It is mine. It is what I do to be me. To be not only me but the best me I can be.

I miss the empty dirt roads by the home I grew up in. You could run for miles north, south, east or west on nothing but a red dirt road. It was so quiet and lonesome (in a good way). When I first started running here in Tacoma I was so unfulfilled by it. There were cars everywhere, stoplights every 5 blocks, college kids heckling me from their cars, dips in the sidewalk, crosswalks! I couldn’t get into a running grove to save my life. I couldn’t get any meditation going or thoughts flowing. I could not work through my day without a honk or a whistle. It took me a while to realize that I am a farm girl stuck in a city, surrounded by people.

I am not embarrassed to say that I went to therapy for a while. Partly it was required for my schooling but partly because I needed it and I believe we all can benefit from personal exploration. Anyways, in one particular session I remember talking about how busy life was around me, all the time. As a kid one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the train trestle and look out for miles. And just sit quietly. I can’t find that here. I can’t go for a run and be completely alone and surrounded by wide open spaces.

Here are some pictures of "my" trestle and train tracks...

Life is a balance, my life is a balance. And every so often I feel so off balance that I have to step back and remember what it is all for. Last week was my step back.

Today I am grateful for:
Friends who are always willing to help me out!
ACT mouthwash.
Rain boots.
My followers!!!

Run Happy Peeps!

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  1. thanks for sharing your honest and private thoughts. I have def been where you are mentally. Today (1 day after a great marathon time) I couldn't find joy in anything I did. I always get the post race blues, but today was bad... your post helped remind me, there is a tomorrow and it's up to me to make it better then today.

  2. I too wonder frequently why I do this running thing. Lately my answer has been that I am running because I got up at 5:30 in the morning to do it. Luckily I don't follow through very often on the circular logic of it all. Why did I get up at 5:30 in the first place? To run. Why am I running? Because I got up at 5:30 a.m. to do it. Although now that I think about it, that could keep my half-asleep mind occupied for quite a while at 5:30 a.m. Maybe I've stumbled onto something here.... ;)

  3. Wow amazing post. If you want miles of uninterupsted running I know a place in Orting?? Let me know if you are game for Saturday morning..

  4. "But really, running is for me. It is mine. It is what I do to be me. To be not only me but the best me I can be."

    So well said.

  5. I can feel your longing for running in your hometown area. Where I live now there is just polders and pastures. Where I come from there are woods and heathland all around me. Now I regret I didn't ran in those days.

    So in January I'm doing a run a few miles from my hometown so I can finally run in the woods back home I love so much.

    I think everyone who runs feels the same how you felt every now and then.

  6. So well said.

    Sometimes when I find myself up against all the numbers - what I should be doing, how many miles I should be running, how fast I should have been...I have to back away and remember that I run because I can. And sometimes that is all the reason I need.

    PS - I love ACT too! A nice rinse before a run is wonderful :)

  7. Thank you for sharing.....that was an amazing post, so deep and honest...hang in there, we all have these feelings as runners from time to time.........

  8. I know how you feel. Sometimes your surroundings have a lot to do with the way you feel. I grew up in a rural suburb in Northern California. We had a creek with a small waterfall and I used to sit on a rock next to it and just think. Can't do that much anymore up here in Seattle (even though I live in the 'burbs, it's still way busy).

    PS: Looking forward to the Seattle Half, too!


You're pretty much awesome!!


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