Lately, I’ve been fearing something that is hard to admit, but heck, might as well get it out there.
For the last couple of months (more?) I’ve been afraid of running.
I can’t even explain why. Afraid of something hurting? For sure. But mostly, afraid of failing.
It’s hard to look back at who I was not much longer than a year ago, when I would do 10 miles for fun, and I actually enjoyed my 20 milers back when I was training for the Chicago Marathon. Sure, they were tough, but they were pleasant. And now? I know I can’t even run 3 miles without taking a break – and even then, I will be a lot slower than before. And before? I was already a slow runner, so it’s not like I ever thought I could get any worse.
So you read me babbling about lifting weights at the gym, or muay thai, and all this time, no peep about running. And now you know why. I’m afraid I can’t run anymore. Not that my body is incapable – no, that’s not it – it’s all in my head. It will be hard and I will hate it, and I will give up.
The worst part of it? I actually MISS running. I miss it dearly. I daydream about it, I think about it every.single.day. I just don’t actually, you know, RUN.
Running in Manila still doesn’t excite me. I don’t want to deal with the traffic noise, the pollution, the crowded sidewalks, crossing streets where pedestrians don’t have the right of way even when the pedestrian light is on, dealing with badly maintained sidewalks, just waiting for the next sprained ankle, dealing with running alone. So when I run here, I usually take the treadmill, because it’s easier, more convenient, and I don’t have outside factors making it unpleasant. But I never enjoyed the treadmill, so then, I just don’t run at all.
At the end of last year, I even trained for a 10k (a big deal around these parts lately), and then when that got canceled, I just pretty much lost my motivation. All of it. Dealing with foot and now hip pain no long after didn’t help, and sunk me into a deeper hole.
But yesterday? I went to the gym to do my hour of lifting weights, got back home and jumped on the treadmill. My goal was for a mile (because small goals are all I can handle now), and I got tired quick, had to walk before the mile was even over (but I knew that was coming) but it didn’t hurt anywhere. I hopped out after a mile and a half, having done some walking in the midst, but mostly running. Who knew I could still put my foot in front of the other? My endurance is still not there, and I might not get it back until I’m back in DC running with the best running buddies DC has to offer, but I can get back there, even if my time in Manila is meant to be spent on 3 milers only.
I’m still afraid. I’m afraid it’s going to be hard, that it will never get easy again (was it ever easy?). But now I’m hoping that each time after weightlifting I can hop on the treadmill, even if only a mile, because I have to start somewhere, but I won’t get anywhere if I don’t at least TRY.