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As you may know, I will be heading to Nashville this month to participate in the Women’s Running Series race weekend in partnership with FitFluential. The original plan was to aim for my sixth half marathon along the many hills of the Nashville course, sight seeing along the way, amid a fun community of women.
As you also may know based on blog posts or my Instagram feed, I’m not running near as much as I used to run and certainly not near enough to have adequately trained for a half marathon. Well, that makes sense considering I have chosen to drop to the 5K option.
Distance running is no longer for me. For many reasons.
I can’t keep battling a recurring injury. It just won’t quit and at a certain point that tell tale ache in my ankle always reappears. No matter the amount of sports therapist visits, sports massage sessions, or KT tape purchases I have had. That’s not worth it to me.
I can’t have something that interferes with other workouts…workouts which are my job. My body needs to function well to perform workout video demos for my BBB participants and to run through the workouts to make sure they are as quality as possible.
I like too many types of fitness. Variety in my workout routine makes me feel so good. I was getting tired of having to plan my workouts around a race training schedule. I do enjoy running, but I finally realized I don’t love it at the sacrifice of the many other things I also want to regularly do.
I would rather use my time differently. Training for distance races is a huge time commitment. I know it’s doable and have done it before, even during a more loaded schedule. Yet right now I like not spending a large chunk of my kids’ school time running, then having to cram other tasks in while they are at home. Or using precious weekends for long training runs. I’m seriously impressed by the people who train and balance it all, but it was adding unnecessary stress to my life right now.
Sadly, even though I know the decision is best for me, I have let it rob some of the joy and anticipation of this upcoming race weekend. I felt anxiety that I wasn’t enough of a “runner” anymore. I feared judgment of “only” doing the 5K and still taking part in such an experience. I got stubborn about thinking I should still do long distances.
I know I’ve heard it before and likely even said it before – if you run, you ARE a runner. Yet somehow I couldn’t believe that of myself. Until I decided to own my distance.
I AM a runner.
I am a runner who honors my body. I am a runner who knows my limits.I am a runner who also strength trains, does yoga, and loves my workout DVDs. I am a runner whose goals have changed. I am a runner with no goals and just a desire to do purely fun races. I am a runner who will smile along those 3.1 miles of hills in Nashville a few weeks from now.
I AM a runner. I own my distance. I own my style. For me, that’s shorter distances, less training, and if I do a race it’s just for the low-key fun of it. For you that may be multiple races (even half or full marathons) a year and serious PR goals. Or anywhere in between. After all, if there is one thing I have learned since becoming a runner…we’re a pretty supportive community, wouldn’t you agree? Power to each of us.
Now you tell me…what’s YOUR distance? Or do you own not enjoying running at all? Because that’s cool too.
For more info, tips, inspiration, and discounts for other races from Women’s Running Series, be sure to follow WRS on Twitter or follow WRS on Facebook! You can join me September 28 in Nashville TN by using code FITTNTINA for $10 off your registration. Or check out any of these great options from WRS!