I started running when I was 13 years old and it was in the pursuit of weight loss. Since I was a child when I started running, my identity was really rolled up in being a "good" runner. Racing from a very young age became this stressful, intense experience for me. Honestly a lot of my self worth got tied up in how I performed in the races. Can you relate to this, runner girl?
I realized that this was becoming a problem for me sometime after the pandemic happened. My gym closed down, I stopped training intensely and didn't lift as much. Last year I was training for the Chicago Marathon so I was doing more training but for the past year I have been trying to build up my fitness to do long runs, intense strength workouts and speedwork.
This past winter I was training for a half marathon and I was doing speed work for the first time since the pandemic and going back to the gym and I realized my relationship with movement and training had become very negative. I was constantly feeling shameful or guilty that I wasn't "fast" enough or "good" enough anymore. I was having anxiety about going to do my track workouts and I kept telling myself that "I am lazy."
I knew something needed to change.
So during my half marathon I wanted to enjoy the ride, I looked around at my surroundings, watched the spectators and it was absolutely wonderful! I had never done that before, I was always looking at my watch, running as fast as I can and taking the run as seriously as I could.
I realized during that race that I need to make training fun again! So here is what I have been doing:
I want to race more often because I want to race for fun! I signed up for a 15k and I was not taking it seriously, I was just showing up and enjoying myself. When I did this 15k it was the best I had felt in years! I need to sign up for more fun races so that I can take the anxiety away that I feel on the starting line.
Start adding speedwork. I want to spend time doing speedwork based on perceived effort rather than using pre-determined speeds/races.
Taking time to drive to trails where I can enjoy long runs without any pressure to run a certain pace.
I am starting to feel more like myself and I have a lot of healing still to do but I am a hot mess in progress! #projecttrainhappy
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