I have been struggling internally for a few weeks now and it has reflected in my training runs. The Tahoe 50k I ran last Saturday was a struggle for the first 11 miles but then I let everything go and just ran. I stopped thinking about what was going on outside of my running. I only focused on my body and it was the most unbelievable feeling for me. Yes, I had issues all day but I didn't let those issues stop me. I persevered and overcame adversity to complete it.
The big question for me is; How did I get to that point?
I haven't been able to get there again and I find it frustrating when I am out on the trails and I can't overcome and just be. How can I switch my brain off? Running was or use to be an outlet for me. It was/is a way for me to de-stress but recently I am finding it difficult to lace up my shoes and even get running, probably because I fear I wont be able to complete the run, or I wont be able to keep up, or you name I am thinking it.
Why am I putting so much pressure on myself to run and perform?
I am only doing it for fun and that is what I need to do again. Run for fun. Easy to write, but hard to execute. I struggled on Tuesdays run this past week, but I am chalking that up to the incident I had a few hours before the run which caused my big toe and foot to swell. Saturday's run I felt pretty good heading out but struggled all the way back in. Doubts were flying through my head, but even though I struggled I still had a smile on face. Yes, it was a fake smile but I was still smiling none the less.
Then today Sunday I can't sleep so on the spur of the moment I go for a run. I didn't meet anyone, had no clue on the distance and I also left my Garmin at home. That was the smartest thing I have done in awhile. No pressure about pace, no pressure about time, no pressure about distance. I ran a pace that my body felt good and comfortable. I ran a distance that wasn't to far nor to short. I enjoyed this run tremendously.
It was exhilarating and my confidence grew. I ran 4 strong miles on the way out and on the way back in I ran even stronger. I was passing other runners and I didn't feel like I was working hard. I think I found my groove. It has taken awhile and I only hope to keep this momentum into my upcoming training runs. I just have to remind myself that running is enjoyable and I don't need to put so much pressure on myself to perform. It will happen and if it doesn't that is OK because some days will be good and some days will be harder. I just need to keep that focus on fun and being able to let everything go that is bothering me.