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.