Last Friday as I was gathering up Zoe’s lunch and jacket and urging her to get her shoes on and trying to locate her water bottle that’s always missing, I stopped in the middle of the living room and groaned. Dammit.
What’s wrong? Christian asked. And I explained that since Sunday was Zoe’s birthday, today would be the logical day for her to take cupcakes to school to celebrate, and in my usual last minute haste to plan her party for Saturday, I had completely failed to plan for this. (If you know me well, you should not be surprised. If I am anything, it is NOT on the ball.)
So go to HEB and get some cupcakes, he said. And then I was all, Yeah I COULD, but that’s so boring, and I like to make them, and and and… Because I really do. I don’t keep the neatest house and I don’t take them on the grandest of adventures, but dammit, I will always make their birthday treats in whatever theme they want.
And then he was all, Dude. Have you seen your schedule lately? You need to take something off your plate. Pick up some damn cupcakes on the way to school and be done with it.
So we did, and Zoe carefully surveyed the choices and settled on a container of red, blue, and green frosted cupcakes because I don’t think the boys will want those pink and purple ones. And that was that. While I would have loved to have made pretty cupcakes for her class with my killer buttercream frosting, it was kind of a relief to just spend $6 and grab a 12-pack that someone else slaved over.
I have pretty much decided to give up on my half marathon training. I’m not giving up on running, but like those cupcakes, I had to take something off my plate. A lot of things are different this time around from the last time I trained for a half. My kids’ schedules are different (although more accommodating than last time). I’m completely out of shape from being our of commission for almost a year. We’re working on Listen to Your Mother.
But the biggest change is my attitude.
After my last grumpy running post, everyone came out in droves to lift me up and admit that at some point in just about every single run, there’s a point where you want to say “Eff this.” But my attitude towards my training in general has been negative and riddled with apathy and anger. It’s not self-doubt, because I’ve done this before, so I know my body can do it with the proper training.
It’s that I just don’t care.
My knee started hurting a couple of weeks ago, and after a run on Friday that should have been 7 miles, but ended up just shy of 6 (with tears!), it hasn’t really stopped hurting. My longer runs have all put me in a really bad place mentally. Like, not just that hard and challenging struggles that come with training. Pure hatred. I don’t ever feel properly prepared. I can’t hit my stride, ever. While I’m grateful that my back is well enough that I can run, I’m not enjoying this in the least.
When I was out on that 7 mile run that ended up just shy of 6 (don’t forget the tears!), I threw an internal hissy fit. I vowed to not only give up on the half marathon training, but to also quit the ambassador program and throw myself a big, fat pity party, preferably with donuts, because I am a failure. Then about a quarter mile later, I told myself I was probably being a wee bit overdramatic, and realized I could just step down a notch and run the 10k and not have to turn in my ambassador badge just yet. And then I felt I could breathe again.
I have a hard time quitting things. I wouldn’t say that I normally overextend myself, but when I commit to something, giving up is rarely an option, and I beat myself up over it if I do.
But this time I felt such relief.
Seems that just like the cupcakes, I just need to take something off my plate. Running should be an activity that helps relieve stress, but right now, sticking to a training schedule is just causing more of it. I feel like it’s a waste of time and energy to continue to push something that I am truly hating. I want to be at a point where I get grumpy if I DON’T run, but it’s not coming. So I’ll run the Zooma 10k, and I’ll probably run the Cap10k right after that. If I continue to run with some consistency over the next few weeks, I will be fine for that distance, and I can just aim to improve my time. I have my eye on the 3M half marathon next January.
I’ll run for fitness and for fun, to blow off some steam and to challenge myself when I’m ready. But right now I’m perfectly fine saying I quit. Kind of.