The last time I ran with another person was on 4th of July during a race. Every single run I have done in California has been an out and back run with the exception of Saturday when I ran 3 miles around the neighborhood looking for cats–I saw 2. Running here is lonely but great at the same time.
I am fortunate that there is a canal path 1 mile away from where I am staying. Initially, I was nervous about finding a safe place to run. Before I actually got here I had no idea what to expect. When everything finally came together and I planned to come out here running was secondary to finding a place to stay and doing this internship. I figured I would either find a way to run hassle free or I wouldn’t. Basically, I knew either running was going to go well or it was going to go poorly. I left it up to fate. I took having that canal path so close as a sign that it was going to go well and I have embraced this.
My first full day here I didn’t run because I was so tired from traveling, waking up early, and trying to adjust to a new environment. That was Tuesday July 5th. The first run I did was on July 6th and it was just an easy 4 mile run. It didn’t feel great because I was still super tired. The next day was my birthday (7/7) so I ran 7 miles because it was 7/7. This is when things started to fall into place for me mentally with running. I didn’t want to run 7 miles that day but I wanted to be able to say that I ran 7 miles on 7/7. That was enough motivation to make me keep going. This helped me see that I could and should keep running on the days that I don’t want to.
Before I got here I was struggling to find motivation and I was miserable because I had been doing the majority of my runs alone. I didn’t want to be alone with my own thoughts and running left me in that position often. It is challenging to concur negative thoughts and that is where I was mentally before I got here.
Over the past few years I had become dependent on running the majority of my runs with other people. It was awesome, but things change and I wasn’t ready for that to happen. I forgot what it was like to rely on myself and I forgot that it is possible to run and train independently. I love my friends but it isn’t their responsibility to make sure I run or to run with me. Only I can control what I do or don’t do. Being sad that I was running alone wasn’t getting me anywhere. I was stagnant and everyone around me was moving forward. Being here has helped me see that I need to rely on myself and take full responsibility for my own training. As soon as I realized that I started pushing myself to run when I didn’t want to. So far I’ve run 26/29 days I’ve been here and covered 179.5 miles between July 6-31. Additionally, I feel extremely motivated and I can feel my fitness slowly coming back.
I believe that I am in a good place mentally. I just need my body to catch up. Over the last few years my fitness has varied. I’ve either been super fit by a runner’s definition or I have been in average running shape. Unfortunately, the times when I have been super fit have been the times when I have been at my weakest mentally. Likewise, the times when I have been mentally strong have been the times when I haven’t been able to train properly. I don’t think my body and my mind have ever been in the same place at the same time. One is always miles behind the other. My goal is to get them to align. If I can I think I would be unstoppable.