Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Running On

So, today I’m still hobbling about like an idiot. And doing lots of sitting with my knee elevated. Why I keep wearing skirts to work is beyond me.

But I’m also thinking about the possibility of not running races. At all. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’d still run, just not at races. I’m also thinking about the possibility of not racing races. Just running them to run. I’m not sure I could do it. I think it’d be easier to not run them at all. I would feel kind of like a failure just running. I don’t want to embarrass myself. And I don’t want to embarrass anyone else or let anyone down. And I don’t want to be that girl who used to be good, and now she’s just slow. I’d feel like I had to tell everyone that I meant to run slow. But I’d sound like I was just making excuses for doing poorly. I know I'm not going to win, but I don't want to suck either. I'd like to at least place. I don't know why I feel that running a certain speed, or lack thereof, would embarrass me or those around me. But I do. And I always have.

I like running in races. I think it’s fun. I like the atmosphere of it. The excitement. The new race shirts. The courses. The free food at the end. And the oddness of it all is, I always want to do well, but I don’t really want anyone to see me or, you know, acknowledge me. I kind of try to be invisible. I don’t have any training partners or friends who run (the closest I come is making Hubby run trails in front of me once a week in the summer to scare the snakes out of the way). I don’t know anyone else running at races. I always use my headphones. I don’t generally make conversation with anyone who wasn't in the car with me on the way to the race (and sometimes not even them, because I get so nervous). I don’t generally stay for awards, regardless of whether I place or not. I show up, run, and go home.

And even odder, I’m kind of (okay, really) jealous of the people who do all of that stuff. The social people who know each other and laugh and joke and run together. The women who look all cute and tiny in their running outfits, with their bouncy hair. The people who don’t seem to care at all what the clock says. Who are smiling and laughing and having a great time regardless of how fast or slow they run. I don’t know how they do it. I can’t seem to. I just feel like I'm never good enough or fast enough or thin enough or enough of anything enough.

So, I guess I’m feeling like I’m at a crossroads. I’ve been running for about 22 years now. Which is a lot, really, now that I think about it. And something has to change. I know it does. Pieces of me aren’t working properly, for goodness sake. But I’m just not sure what to do or how to do it. And how to move forward after it's done.


Bacardi Mama said...

You know how I feel about this subject, but it's something you are going to have to decide for yourself. Just remember that you have more years ahead of you than you have behind you. I'm guessing you'd like to have your joints and what not last as long. I'll support you whatever you decide. Love you!

InTheFastLane said...

OMG! You sound just like me! Except that I don't run hardly any races any more. Done with the marathon too after two HOT chicagos in a row. I have a feeling we live close to each other. But, I have no training partners because I do all my working out at 4 in the morning.

Pokey said...

I understand completely about having to tell people you were purposely running slow and that you were just wanting to have fun. You are competitive in a non-traditional sense, like I am. The thing that we both have to realize is that our friends and family love us for who we are not how we place or what we win. They are just happy we attempted something and want us to be happy about it too. We should try to love ourselves and be as nice to ourselves as our friends and family are.