When I finished my marathons last year there was this pause in my running life. I had become so completely worn out with running and particularly racing, that it took everything I had to finish out my planned races for the year. In October of last year I finished my last race in Morgan Hill. A half marathon I ran with my sister-in-law. It was a beautiful course and a great run. It was a perfect way to end my epic year of running.
Now almost 6 months later I have been through some big ups and downs with my love (or lack thereof) of running. I haven't done a single race since then and I only just began running regularly about a month ago. My health in general has not been great. I have been battling with my asthma and had to fight off a lingering bronchitis that has seemed to do some major damage to my endurance.
There have been moments where I really miss racing. Even moments where I considered running another full marathon. I look back at the training I did for my three marathons last year and it was lack luster at best. I am saddened when I realize that I probably could have gotten a much faster time had I done more than just my weekly long runs... if that.
So for now I have decided to take a different approach. I don't want to burn out like I did last year. I want to fall back in love with running... so I am letting it woo me back. I am going back to the beginning. The 5K... it is the basis of training... the starting point. I want to run for endurance, for speed and for health.... but mostly for fun. For me, the challenge is the ability to see how much you can improve and overcome when you push yourself... that is the fun. I may be a slow runner but I improve a little every day. That's what counts. I look at what I have accomplished and I am so incredibly proud. I do hope to one day get back to the point where I can run a half marathon at the drop of a dime... but I am not there yet.
I have been getting better... healthier. I am still struggling with my asthma but I am pushing through and I am giving myself the grace to take a day off or two. I have toyed with the idea of signing up for upcoming races... yes, even full marathons... but for now I am not signed up for anything until October 2012. And for now, that is okay... because all that matters is that I have a date with the open trails and my running shoes. Who knows where they will take me... but I am excited to find out.