Besides my usual Boilermaker report a few months ago, this site has been largely on the back burner the past few years. The reason for this are myriad: I’ve been busy with my job, with raising three kids, and struggling with my own wavering commitment to running. The one thing I have been really striving for lately is balance, and I am discovering that finding balance is more challenging than it sounds.
Several years ago, I resolved to approach my running with a more balanced mindset. Over a decade of running 50-100 miles per week had resulted in lots of personal bests, bit since having kids (and getting several lasting injuries), I knew that kind of mileage was out of the question. I struggled with only running a few days a week for a while, because I still wanted to train more, and time and time again I would start out running 30mpw, only to get antsy and up the mileage after a little while. And time and time again, I would get injured, or find myself being too tired and cranky to be a good father.
Finally, around the time the pandemic hit, I was tired of the struggle. I was tired of wanting to be in shape but never actually getting there. I was tired of training hard for short bouts, only to run mediocre times and get discouraged. But most of all, I was tired of being tired all the time.
So I finally did what I’d been threatening to do all along; I stopped training so hard. But this time, the difference was I truly wanted to stop training so hard. The only problem was that this was more of a result of me becoming discouraged and depressed, rather than adopting a truly healthy relationship with running. For a while, especially earlier this year, things were rough, and I found myself so discouraged from a string of injuries and ailments that I no longer felt like a runner at all.
After several months of little running and lots of supplemental exercises, I finally am feeling able to run again. Even better, I want to run. Only this time, I realize that the days of running 70mpw are behind me. I don’t have the time, the energy, or, (fortunately) the desire to run that much any more. I’ve been logging four to five days a week, and just recently had my first 30-mile week in months. And you know what? This feels good. I’m running enough to feel like I am getting reasonably fit, but I’m not chronically fatigued, and my relationship with running is healthy and balanced. I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that I will never run another PR, but if I can produce some “pretty good” results, I’ll be happy. After all, right now, I’m not looking to PR; I just want to enjoy running again. And I think I’m finally there.