My Fear of Running

A runner who's scared of running?

A couple of weeks ago Leah share that since she'd landed back in New Zealand she'd developed a fear of running. While it sounds like a weird concept it is something that really resonated with me. So much so I stole the title of her post. 

Since completing Bristol and Bath Marathon in October (and uncharacteristically not writing about it) I've not been feeling my usual drive to run. If I'm being really honest I'd not been feeling it for awhile. After Paris I hurt. I probably didn't put enough effort in to recovery and I felt it at Hackney Half where a pain in my thigh had me cursing for the last three miles. Over the summer I ran, but not with great gusto. I ran because I had a marathon looming, but things hurt and life was changing so it stopped being the priority it had once been. I dragged myself through my second marathon, but there wasn't the same love. 

A year ago I was an evangelical bore about running. It was my life. Seriously, you'd never have me over for dinner. But a lot changes in 12 months. Nothing looks the same. So I guess it shouldn't be a shock that my relationship with running has changed too. 

For two years I ran to find a sense of worth. Often it was the only time I felt like myself. Running gave me an opportunity to feel free, happy and calm. Often I felt like I was flying. It was magical. In the last year I've not had to struggle to find those feelings. I don't need a 10 mile run to find them, they're there when I wake up. 

Alongside all this emotional change is how different the structure of my life is today. I don't have a lot of time. I work and I study and I attempt to have a social life. Those things have become more important than running when it comes to keeping me happy. If it's the people I love verses running, then the people I love win. That wasn't always the case (see above comment about being a terrible dinner party guest). 

I never dreamt that getting happy would affect my relationship with running. I thought that part of life would stay steady. That running would always mean the same to me. It's surprised me that it doesn't. The adjustment is taking some time.

I'm still a runner but I'm redefining my relationship with running. It's a hard emotional process made tougher as I feel my fitness slipping away. It's tough knowing where you used to be and feeling like it's a million miles from where you are. Each workout is a push, a test of mind over matter as I haul myself through treadmill workouts and weights sessions, clinging to a hope I'll find my passion again.