Over the course of 9 months, every.single. race I ran was a PR! And it made me hate running.
I watched myself change from a newbie, casual runner to someone who was improving a lot. My fitness increased. My paces dropped. Everything came more smoothly and effortlessly. So I started expecting more. Started challenging myself to run farther, faster.
And then I changed. I got vain, and shallow, and greedy. I let my ego start calling the shots. I got hung up on speed and finish times. I lost the girl I was when I started running. The one who was just happy to be out there trying big, scary things. The one pushing herself outside of her comfort zones, chasing growth and experiences (not just PRs). I loved that girl so damn much. And somewhere in 2019/2020, I fucking lost her.
Flash forward to the here and now where I have crashed and freaking burned. Two months into my third marathon training cycle, I quite literally could not force myself to workout anymore. Riding the high of almost a years' worth of PRs and I kinda never wanted to run again.
Part of this whole crash was the need for DEEP REST. And not just resting so I can re- group and go out into the world like a crazed maniac again. But, profound rest, where I have space and time to unfold and re-remember the parts of me that are pretty fucking cool. Like Runner Jen 2018. The OG edition. Damn, I’d be friends with that girl!
It took lots of rest and writing this all out to realize that, prior to 2019/2020, I hadn’t yet explored the dark, shadowy parts of my relationship with running. I had never gotten wrapped up in the PR hype or some of the more contrived, vain parts of this little corner of the world. In fact, I found it SO UNRELATABLE when people were.
I now stand before you, and myself, all Icarus-like and humbled AF.
I’m not sure where you are, running bud, in your journey or if you can relate to this? But, if you are flying high, I’m cheering you on. If you have crash-landed, bring a blanket and come to my couch. If you are somewhere in between, let’s find our way together. I can’t quite see the path forward yet, but I know it's there. ...