I have a solid relationship with Strava. Strava is an app that tracks all logistics and data pertaining to my running. The only thing it does not record is how I felt during the activity. That, I either log on a shared Google sheet or just talk to my coach about it.
This morning, I got up and headed out the door for my long run of 17 miles. I have not run that long since Escarpment, but I wasn’t too concerned about being able to cover the distance. It was an easier run with the goal of taking in some nutrition and water to practice.
I’ve felt some doubt since Escarpment. On paper, my training looks legit and I am on track. I have been figuring out my niggles and hopefully I am over that part for now. Getting up each morning with the confidence that I will not be plagued by injury is such a blessing. I often forget, when I am discouraged or simply tired, of how lucky I am right now. I get up knowing I will put one foot in front of the other.
However, lingering doubt remains in my mind for reasons I cannot explain. I’m tired, yes, but I’ve lived that way before. I sleep well most nights, I get up feeling relatively rested, and really my life is good. Running simply just isn’t the high life right now.
I’m not saying I am burned out, I know what that feels like. I think I am happy in other areas of my life and that is overshadowing running. I am not using running to feel a sense of purpose or happiness. My life is full in other ways. Because I am not using running to get a high or numb out, I feel more things when I am out there.
I wonder why this easy run doesn’t feel like Christmas (um…hills are hard no matter how slow you go)
I wonder why sometimes I feel like I am going backward, when really I could slow down more.
I actually look forward to other parts of my day, so sometimes I am glad when my run is done so that I can see my friends or get to work.
I am living a full life, and I love that. Running just simply is a focus that rather than being everything, is simply a part of everything. Right now, I am feeling everything, but also feel nothing. I feel the steps on the ground, the stiff legs, the lactic acid, but I also let runs go by and don’t think about them.
This morning, I ran 17 miles. That is a lot for me. 17 miles and 2 hours of my life. I remember feeling the uncomfort in my legs, mostly due to yesterday’s workout, and wondering if I would eventually get into the zone.
Well, I think I did, but it took 8 miles and a salted watermelon Clif chomp to get me there. The second half of my run felt easier and I got into some sort of rhythm.
However, I barely remember this run. It was an out and back route, mostly covered by trees and foggy. Not too much to look at. Actually, the only thing I can remember was all the deer and a huge bee hive bigger than my torso. The running, I don’t remember the things I looked at, but I remember how my legs felt. No it wasn’t easy or blissful like I imagined, as I imagine everytime my schedule says “easy” or “recovery”. I forget that that means I am taking it slowly because my legs did some work the day before.
My legs haven’t forgotten the work I’ve done even if my mind has.
I started this article talking about Strava. Say what you want about all the negative stuff that happens there. The comparisons, the KOMs, FKTs, and such. But looking at my Strava reminds me what I did this morning, and yesterday morning, and the day before. Because when my mind chooses to forget or manage the discomfort, my watch keeps track.
I am not on Strava to look at anyone else’s data but my own. I don’t need to copy the workout’s of elites (hello injuries) because I trust my plan and my process.
I am on Strava for runs like today. For days when I wonder why my legs just want a break or feel stiff. I look at MY data on MY profile and remind myself how far I’ve come.
So did my run happen? Yes it did. Strava said so.