I haven’t gone on a run since September 22, the day of the Golden Leaf Half-Marathon in Aspen. My lack of running really has nothing to do with this particular race either. I didn’t get hurt and it was a fun race. Nothing crazy or monumental happened on this run. Do you want to know why I haven’t been running lately? I just haven’t felt like it.
Not feeling like running is probably a really normal thing for a lot of people, but it’s not for me. I started running cross country in middle school, and I ran cross country and track all the way through college. I don’t think I’ve taken this many weeks off of running for many years. This lack of running thing? It’s a little atypical.
Here’s the thing though – over the past few months I’ve kind of lost the joy in running. Running has become a chore, and I’ve been finding other activities more fun. Without running taking up so much time, I’ve been hitting CrossFit three or four times a week. I’ve been rock climbing two times a week. And more importantly, I’ve been having fun again.
I think it’s important to try new things every once in awhile. I’ve been going to CrossFit since February 2011, but I hate admitting that because I’m definitely not a good example of what a year and a half of CrossFit can do. I’ve always made so many excuses for CrossFit and only gone once a week, blaming running for not having the time to dedicate to CrossFit. This changed when I woke up one morning in September and decided that I was tired of making excuses and that I wanted to actually start trying.
The results? I don’t think this is good-bye to running forever by any means, but I do think running and I are on a break probably through the rest of 2012. I have several races that I want to do next summer, however, running is not my main focus right now. What has been awesome for me has been discovering that my life without running is still okay. Not only is it okay, I’m more energized and motivated than I have been in months. I’m discovering that I actually enjoy things other than running!
I’ve been joking that this is a confusing time for me because of how little I’ve been running. I’m not really joking though, as it really HAS been confusing. It’s kind of bizarre to discover these new parts of yourself that you didn’t even know existed. If you had told me five years ago that I would someday not be running and instead be into this hardcore weightlifting/cardio/gymnastics workout and rock climbing I would have said, “Um right.” Yet here I am, currently into those two things and taking a break from running.
Examples of the madness? Last night at CrossFit I went early so that I could do an hour of extra weightlifting before the workout. After the workout, I stayed extra to work on double unders. I used to be the girl that only showed up once a week (on a good week) and left as soon as the workout was over. I logged over two hours at the gym yesterday. Also, in my side career as an aspiring climber, I spent all afternoon on Sunday at Movement in Boulder and bagged my first 10a climb ever. Who am I?!
I can’t imagine what my life would look like without running; distance running taught me perseverance, the value of hard work and made me who I am. Still, I must admit that I’m now excited to learn some new lessons from CrossFit and rock climbing. I never thought I could be one of those CrossFitters that did extra lifting or that I would be working towards learning to rock climb 5.10s. I guess you never know what you could be capable of doing until you try!