In an effort to keep myself busy and clear my head today, I went for a run. This course of events surprises almost no one.
I have had some ish with my ankles again the past few weeks, so I finally started taping my ankles when I run, well, today. It took me awhile, but with a YouTube video and a roll of tape, I figured it out. I used a wrap for the other ankle cause I have been worried about it too.
I started my run up 22nd. A runner on the other side of the street came out of nowhere and shot past me quickly. This is unusual, because my first mile is usually between 7:40 and 8:30. The first couple miles of a run I intended to be 3.11 miles were fine, but in the third mile, my foot fell asleep. Turns out, I taped my foot too tight and I had to limp home.
The more I run, the more I read about running, the more I think I know about running. On some level, I actually do know more about running, which is cool. I have been reading marathon training plans (there is a possibility I will be registering for a full marathon in the next month), and scrolling down lists of gear since I did the Shamrock run the other week. I found shoes I covet even though I have shoes that work exactly how they should. I found a water belt that would be cool – though I do not even really feel like I need a water belt with as many fountains as there are in Portland. I bought Bluetooth headphones and an arm band for my phone (the one I have is Orange!). I keep thinking that if I add gear to my stash, it will make me better, more interesting, more impressive.
Then I realize the truth.
It will not.
Adding more gear, acquiring more running accessories does not make me a better runner. Running makes me a better runner. Taking a break when I need to makes me a better runner. Getting over my self-pride in my ability to run long-ish distance and only doing short distances regularly makes me a better runner. After all, I started running with a t-shirt, some shorts and shoes that were probably not intended for running any sort of distance outside.
At some point, I started doing this regularly enough that it started to build into my pride and self-image in a way that is probably very close to toxic. I began to rebuild my image of myself around the fact that “oh, I can easily run seven miles.” This led to being disappointed in myself when I did not on a Regular Run. This led to me wondering if I was still as good. This has led to me running less runs that are longer.
And that does not seem to be making me a better runner. Just a more tired and slightly more injured runner. I have had runs where, at three miles, at four miles I feel exhausted – then at five or six miles I feel fine. I want to eliminate this. I want to build my energy so I feel the same at three miles that I feel at five miles.So I stop here. I plan to cross-train for a week or so by
eating lots of pizza going to the gym more. Later in the week, I plan on running with a friend. Maybe four miles or so. And I will not have envy for cool running gear I see other people wearing. I will not feel bad about running such a short distance. I will do the thing I meant to do in February, and could not quite do. I will slow down and I will work on my pace.
I will not think “I can do more.”Because sometimes less is more.–I want to note that March 29th is the anniversary of a significant event in my life. I wrote several half-things about this, and none of it felt right. None of it felt worth sharing. So if you want to read about that, here is a masterpost with thoughts from last year and links to previous thoughts I have had on that topic.