Running…. A Fresh Perspective

Posted in Health & Wellness by

Running….

It’s taught me many lessons…. It’s been my greatest struggle and my greatest encouragement, it’s become my passion… it’s my “me” time. But it’s hard, not just physically but it can be emotionally very hard too.

When I’ve had a shitty day, even when I really don’t feel like it and I’m emotionally spent and tired, the best gift I can give myself is to drag my ass into my running kit, lace up my purple running shoes and go pound the pavements.

It’s great thinking time. It works off my stress and often helps me put things into perspective. There is something to be said for huffing and puffing and running and sweating and hurting and thinking… it just does wonders for the soul.

Yesterday I was reminded of that.

It’s no secret I’ve been battling with running motivation this winter. So full of excuses… It’s too cold, it’s too dark blah blah bull shit!

But earlier this week I decided to enter a half marathon at the end of August as a sure fire way to kick my butt into gear and get my running mojo back, how do I know this? Because I never want to go through the pain and the tears of my first ever half marathon, last year when I ran the Soweto. It’s a great deterrent for me. Want to run a half marathon? Be prepared. Train hard. Put in the work otherwise you will spend every second of every 21km of your race regretting your decision to not give it your all.

But then my running buddy messaged me about not being able to make our regular running dates, she needed to increase her pace & needed to change our running schedule, but I interpreted the message in a way that really hurt my feelings, I mean hurt my feelings till they welled in my eyes and rolled down my cheeks, kind of hurt. I felt like crap. I was reminded of what a slow and rather useless runner I am. I felt like shit. I felt embarrassed. But most of all, I felt hurt. And I wanted right then and there to chuck it all in. To take my gaudy purple running shoes and throw them in the trash. I wanted to just give up.

Listen, I’m under no false illusions here. I’m never going to be a champion runner. I’m never going to be fast. I’m always going to do a walk/run/shuffle. I’m always going to huff and puff and be all red faced during a run. I’m never going to win a race.

And I was all like f*ck it! I quit!

Then I had a really stressful day at the office yesterday, I’m talking stomach eating stuff and I knew the only way I’d be able to settle down when I got home from work was if I went for a run, so I begrudgingly put on my stupid, destined for the trash, purple running shoes and off I went. And you know what? It was fabulous! Not only did it work off the pent up stress of my day, it also helped me work through some of the hurt and emotions of the night before and it gave me a fresh perspective.

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Right there, while I was run/walk/shuffling up the hills in my area, huffing, puffing and sweating away, while I watched my times and tried my very best to give it my all and to try and increase my pace, it hit me. I am slow, but that’s ok. I’m doing it! And I run because I love it. I run for pleasure. Not to be the fastest. But not all runners have the same priority as me. For some, it is about being better, being faster each time. And that’s ok. We all have different goals, different agendas. And I need to make peace with that. I need to embrace my goals, I need to embrace my little snail paced shuffle/run/walk and just bloody well enjoy it because it is still a privilege to be able to run. Because a year and a half ago, I was 118kg’s of obesity and I couldn’t even walk down the road without getting out of breath, never mind contemplate running my 4th half marathon.

So I’ll always finish last… or at the back of the pack… so what? The important thing is that I’m doing it!

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25 Comments

  • Reply Cath

    Here’s the thing I learnt – that it does not matter how fast we’re going, it matters that we are going. Heck, even when we turn our runs into walks, they still count.

    I’m incredibly proud of how far you have come, but it has nothing to do with anyone but you. Well done for this perspective. We’re not in a race with anyone but ourselves, after all

    July 16, 2015 at 11:25 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Thanks Cath. You at the end of the day my objective is to enjoy it and to stay fit and strong!

      July 16, 2015 at 11:34 am
  • Reply Debbie

    You hit the nail on the head. I am also a plodder / shuffler – part of what we call the “BackPack”. It hit me this morning while running in the dark and cold how much better my day is if I run. I eat better, I sleep better and I am in a better mood. I also had a friend who, after a PB half marathon, said to me “Better luck next time”. I was also very hurt and upset until one day I told him how upset he had made me and how hard I had worked to get that time (or just to finish IN time). He felt dreadful and apologised. He couldnt understand that speed wasnt important to me. He doesnt run anymore (surely that says something) and I still do, so lets keep on shuffling at whatever pace suits us. Viva the shufflers !

    July 16, 2015 at 11:40 am
    • Reply Sharon

      LOL! This reminds me of the children’s story about the Tortoise and the Hare???
      We’re tortoises and proud of it! 🙂

      July 16, 2015 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply A Love Beyond Measure

    You are absolutely right! Its not about how you do it….its about the fact that you are doing it!!! Go Shaz!

    July 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Noelene

    Great read! Thank you.

    July 16, 2015 at 1:24 pm
  • Reply Heather

    Absolutely love this post. How you turned around the negatives into a positive thing. Good for you, Sharon.

    July 16, 2015 at 1:31 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Having a negative internal dialogue seems to come naturally to me, I always have to be conscious of it and changing my dialogue!

      July 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply jenty

    Good for you 🙂 glad you’re back on the road again! And hopefully I’ll see you at Wanderers, if my knee behaves itself.
    You don’t need to be the fastest, you need to enjoy your run.

    July 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I needed to remind myself of that!

      July 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply Bo

    I really get this post! I do. In the 5 years that I’ve been running, I’ve has so many ups but more downs, mostly relating to my pace & wanting so desperately to keep up with other runners (even my blog is about keeping up with the walkers!) But what running has taught me is that running is a very personal journey. We all different yet no matter how fast or far I run, I’m still my biggest critic. I’m always giving myself a hard time. I was deeply hurt when my 4min/km hubby admitted he didn’t enhoy running with 8min/km me. I hate finishing races when others have all packed up to go home. I thought everyone else judged me. But they didn’t. Instead I’ve learnt that while its a great stress reliever and fun, each runner has a different goal in their head & different training methods. Often quite different journeys. For me it’s a quicker 21km race, for my hubby Comrades, for you to get through winter. But what connects us is the fact that we’re all runners. We all “get” one another. I needed to learn that I’m slower and that my hubby’s training suffers if he runs with me. That’s hardcore and I get it now. The fact that you were so hurt truly shows just how much running has become part of who you are. It’s in your bones and your heart! I’ll see you at Wanderers and even hopefully sooner!

    July 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm
    • Reply Supermama

      I really needed to read this today. Sheer motivation for me to get back into running again.

      July 16, 2015 at 8:44 pm
      • Reply Sharon

        If I can, you can! Let’s do this!

        July 17, 2015 at 8:58 am
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