I love running. I really do, there’s something about being outside, just you, the road, your goals, and your thoughts, that just gets me. It gives me a chance to work out whatever the latest drama is in my life with a clear mind, helps me see the big picture without being bothered by all the little troubles of life (it was definitely a life saver in college while dealing with things like roommates who let their drunk friends puke in my bed), and gave me a little bit of time to myself in my super-packed schedule. But the truth is, running can be really isolating.
When you wake up at 6AM to go for a long run, pound some protein, shower, and die for an hour before getting down to business and writing a paper or something like that, there’s very little time for spontaneity. And that’s not even considering the night before, when I would have left wherever my friends were (or closed the door to the rager being held in the house against my will) and gone to bed early. So while it’s kind of surprising that I’m saying this, it kind of makes sense: I’m almost a little happy that I got injured.
I thought the other day about the things I’ve done so far this summer: I’ve worked in the lab a little bit, cheered on my Dad in the half marathon I was supposed to run, hosted a great cookout before moving out of my house in Amherst, went on an impromptu beach day trip, planned a trip to NOLA to find housing less than a week before I actually did it, ordered my books for my internship, saw a bunch of movies, and best of all visited this dork and his awesome family on the beautiful coast of Maine a couple times:
And what did I lose? A little sanity, maybe. Around $200 of registration fees for the world’s coolest marathon and a half that I’d hoped to defend my title at, possibly a couple new PRs. But those can wait. When I really think about it, if I were running, I’d probably find reasons not to go on all these adventures because I would feel bad about missing runs, or because I wanted to see how fast or how far I could really go. When it comes down to it, this is the last leisurely summer of my life, and the last time I’ll be this close to so many of the amazing people that I spent the past four years with. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and think about what really matters. It’s not whether you can run your next 5k under 18:30, or whether you are able to get your weekly mileage consistently over 50. Life is about being happy. When running is a part of that, it’s awesome. But when it can’t be, you shouldn’t let it bring you down.