This month in running – It’s no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy.

Happy Friday! It has been FOREVER since I wrote anything at all. Yesterday’s run inspired me though. It felt like spring and my legs felt that they HAD spring, so it got me thinking a bit.

I have races to run! First, it’ll be the Holiday Lake 50k (25k for me, thanks) coming up next weekend. In April, I have the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Half Marathon and the Neuse River Bridge Run (half marathon) to take on. Those two half marathons are polar opposites. Blue Ridge will crush me with hills and I won’t even THINK about a PR. Neuse River on the other hand is a blazing fast course and I will push it, push it real good.

Speaking of Blue Ridge, I DO have a discount code for you if you’re interested. Use BIRNSCHEIN2022 and save 20%. The race is an amazing time (so is the concert), but also you might hate it haha. Let’s just say that the course is unlike any other.

Now let’s get to the point. Winter running can be pretty rough. Running over age 40 can also be pretty tough. Combine the two, and sometimes it can be a little tough to deal with.

All winter, I’ve been saying “I need to get back to the track”, or “Next run I’m going to really push it”. It was always the next run and never the run I was in. I seemed to have no problems with hitting some tempo paces here and there, but I didn’t do anything that tried to touch that top gear.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I was the perfect amount of cold while wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I haven’t been running with any sort of a plan and my only real plan was to run 6 miles. I started with one “easy” mile (it was too fast) and kind of sort of just started hitting a pretty fast pace, all on my own without really thinking. It felt good. I got progressively faster, but it was effortless.

After 3 miles of that and still feeling fantastic, I decided to run some quarter mile intervals. I ran to effort, not pace. I ran hard. I felt ALIVE. We all speak of the runner’s high and if you’ve felt it, you know it’s real. It’s real, and it’s spectacular. (For bonus points, name the reference for that last sentence.)

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It felt this good.

Why did I go most of the winter without pushing myself that hard? It felt so good! That got me thinking…

Time to let that head case of a runner out for a minute to dissect him a bit. I think it comes down to two things:

  1. I worried about injury. Obviously, I can be hurt (the torn achilles proved that). I’ve dealt with more wear and tear than I ever have before. My feet are sore. My muscles are tight. I feel safe running fast, but sprinting is another story. I need to warm up longer than I used to (that’s especially true in winter). I don’t recover as well.
  2. I just didn’t want to face that I can’t do it anymore. It’s one thing to decide not to do it. I didn’t want to KNOW that I can’t do it. I totally understand that Father Time is undefeated and that we all eventually “lose a step”, but that’s a hard thing to face. I guess for me, the best way to avoid facing that possible reality was just to not find out.
My brain, contributing to my running.

I guess a little warm weather saved me from myself. I’m ready to push limits again. As some wise person said, “Hope springs eternal.”

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8 Replies to “This month in running – It’s no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy.”

  1. Yes! I feel ya. I just turned 43, and I keep asking myself if my fastest day are behind me. But I remind myself that I love running, and I’m thankful I can still do it 🙂 Good job on getting out and pushing yourself and finding motivating races to look forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often feel injury despite only ever missing 2 weeks at most from a mild hamstring strain. I think the fear comes from the need to run for my sanity/mental health and not knowing what I’d do if I lost that outlet.

    My husband and I have been upping our mileage in preparation for an endurance event in April and it makes me a little nervous. Overall it’s going ok, he complained of some shin pain last week so I said we should scale it back this week. I haven’t had shin pain while running but definitely felt like they were tender/swollen post-run sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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