There’s nothing like forced rest to make you re-consider your relationship to running. I’ve been struggling this week, wanting to be out there, knowing my ankle is not ready, but simultaneously realizing I’m handling this time off better than I have in the past.
I took two months off this fall for a shin stress reaction, and those first few weeks were hard. I was afraid I would lose all of my running fitness, and would be starting all over. I was nervous that I would have trouble staying positive and upbeat (that anti-depressant effect is powerful!) Plus, I thought I’d be terribly bored on the bike and in the water.
As it turned out, I managed okay… I ran my first 5k just a few weeks later, and surprised myself with how quickly my endurance and speed returned. I loved my spinning classes and decided to keep them in my routine. And I found that sweating hard in other ways, though not as good as the runner’s high, could definitely boost my energy and mood and get my through the week.
So I’m hanging onto the lessons learned just a few months ago, and trying my best to enjoy the opportunity to get back in the water and try a few new things.
On top of the physical and mental effects, taking a break from running reminds me that I can survive without running. I’m kind of kidding, but if you run, you know what I mean– you get to a point where it’s such a part of your identity, you can’t imagine not running. I found several articles about running addictions or obsessions, and it’s no surprise that running attracts the addictive personality.
I think having a non-running husband helps keep me fairly grounded, but to my non-running friends I’m sure it looks like running is an obsession of mine. And there are times when it feels like it, too:
- I get giddy about making up a race schedule and training plans
- I plan my weekly schedule with L around my running
- I track everything in a hand-written journal
- I blog about it 🙂
I’m throwing around the terms ‘addiction’ and ‘obsession’ in a very light-hearted way. Most runners I know could be considered somewhat obsessed with the sport, but I found questions in this article to help determine at what point running becomes an addiction. I’ve never reached a point where it was a ‘real’ addiction, but it was a good reminder to strive for balance in all areas of life.
Have you ever wondered if you’re obsessed with or addicted to running? Do you have to work to keep a healthy balance, or is it a non-issue?