After slightly injuring myself in California and starting a new job, ten days went by without a single run. I knew shifting from student life to 9 to 5 would take some time, but even on the weekend, I had no desire to run. I just didn’t want to. Maybe giving up my marathon goal took more out of me in the way of motivation than I thought. Maybe I’d already lost that motivation. More likely the latter was true, which is why I’d struggled the entire second half of my training plan. After hitting the wall on my 18 miler, I skipped the 20 altogether. That skip snowballed into 10 days. Although I was excited about my new job, my inner happiness and self-love meter was draining fast. I needed to find my happy place again. I needed to run.
Finally, it was Sunday. My partner left early for a 6am bike ride – I didn’t get out of bed until 10am. I was trying really hard to not get down on myself, but it was a struggle. I did some yoga while trying to stay positive. Shaming myself for sleeping in wasn’t going to help. I just had to do the best I could with what I had. After a nonexistent breakfast of coffee and toast, I went back upstairs to do some homework. Afterward, I allowed myself to work on an art project which helped lift my spirits. When my fiancé returned home from his beautiful bike ride, I chatted with him and his friend and had lunch. Once his friend left, I told him about my run struggles. Without hesitation, he encouraged me to run, insisting that I would feel better afterwards.
He was right. It was a gorgeous day, the perfect temperature, and a cool breeze that kept me comfortable even in the sun. Since my Garmin refused to connect to satellite, I decided to run without monitoring my pace or time and it turned out to be the best decision. Without that reminder of how well I wasn’t doing, I was able to purely enjoy the run. I ran at a moderate pace, stopped to take photos, walked a bit along the water. Tons of families and couples were out having picnics and playing in the sun. I reveled in the beautiful front yard gardens of the Pacific Northwest; a myriad of flowers bursting forth in bright purples, pinks, reds, and whites. And green. Gorgeous green everywhere. My eyes drank it in. It was everything a run was meant to be: refreshing, relaxing, therapeutic. When I returned to the house about an hour later, I felt like a new runner, running for the pure joy of it. Maybe that forced 10 day break was exactly what I needed.