I Run Races But I Dislike Running

I completed my first Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday. My first race in my own city! I now have three half marathons, one ten miler, and a Spartan Sprint under my belt, with 5Ks and 10Ks sprinkled in as well. And I foresee more races in my future (a marathon perhaps???), but I don’t love running. I don’t even like it. I actively dislike it.

So why do I spend hundreds thousands of dollars on races and traveling to said races? Why do I mentally torture myself to train (or really, not train) before each one? Why do I spend hours doing an activity I don’t like?

There are a few reasons:

  1. I like the “day of” race event. Not the running. That part royally sucks, especially when it means an hour or two out on the course without stopping. But I enjoy taking pictures with my friends, pumping each other up, swapping music ideas, discussing post-race plans, or figuring out our pace to run together. I always do races with people – my gym squad (#6amCPcrew), my boyfriend, my DC friends, my besties from home – because it makes it more enjoyable to wake up at an ungodly hour, potentially in the cold, to run a race I paid for months prior.
  2. I like feeling accomplished. Crossing the finish line feels amazing. Each time I run a race, I’m somewhat amazed that I’ve done it. Years ago, I couldn’t fathom doing intense workouts outside of tennis practice. And I sure as hell did not feel the need to run more than the forced gym one miler. During my first half in February 2017, I wasn’t sure I would make it. During my second half in November 2017, I was amazed at my PR. During my third half in February 2018, I ignored my longer running time because I ran with a foot I injured 3 weeks before. Each time, I had a different reason to feel accomplished, and each time it felt really good. That feeling wipes away all of the disdain I feel during the actual race.
  3. I like testing my mental fortitude. I’m not saying I’m the fittest person ever, but I regularly workout and (usually) eat pretty well. In the last three years, I’ve lost weight and changed my lifestyle, so I know I can physically go out and jog 13.1 miles with minimal training. I’ve done it (three times to be exact). And while I’m not the fastest, I get it done, and in pretty decent time if I do say so myself. So the hardest part is not the physical activity, it’s keeping my mind in check. It’s easy for me to say “Brynn, you’re not doing great. Let’s stop” or “Come on girl, everything hurts. Time to walk” when I really am just bored and / or feeling achy. When I can force my brain to listen to my ratchet AF playlist and not my internal mean thoughts, that’s a win. Now the next step is figuring out how to keep my mind positive during 26.2 miles, if I decide to try it! (LOL who am I?)
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First half marathon! Disney Princess Half (February 2017)

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First Spartan Sprint, three days post-China trip! (June 2017)

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Second half marathon! Disney Super Heroes Half (November 2017)

Strugglin’ In OKC

I’m currently on my fourth travel project nearly 1.5 years after starting in commercial consulting, so this whole “Monday through Thursday living in a hotel and eating at restaurants” thing is not new. You’d think I’d have this travel thing down, right?! Wrong.

Okay, not wrong. I could do worse, believe me. I usually do pretty well. I aim for three workouts during my four travel days, and I try to buy snacks (read: kombucha) at the nearest Whole Foods (Sprouts works too) ((yes, I will drive an extra 15 minutes)). But sometimes, I still struggle.

I normally give myself a few weeks to acclimate to a new client. Though I receive the “you’ve been staffed!” email and immediately head to Google Maps to check out restaurants, fitness studios, and grocery stores nearby – doing all the pre-work ahead of time, it’s actually acting on it that takes some time. And that’s okay! I get that. New place to explore, new team to meet, new great food to eat (yes, even in OKC).

But…I’ve been traveling here for two months. I should have a routine. I’m not bouncing from city to city (on the weekdays). I stay at the same hotel, go to the same Starbucks, head to the same client, and rotate the same nearby lunch places. Every. Single. Week. You’d think I’d be a rock star.

But, the past week and a half have been hard. I’ve been unmotivated to workout, and I’ve struggled with eating healthy. There were external and internal factors working against me. It wasn’t the best few days at work, and I wasn’t feeling great (#monthlyannoyance). When I get moody, I eat worse. When I eat worse, I feel gross. When I feel gross, I get upset (and continue to eat poorly). I complained to my nutritionist. I cried to my boyfriend. I wasn’t myself at work. And I didn’t really workout – the one thing that could give me endorphins (happy people don’t kill their husbands, amirite??). It was all around a disaster in my opinion. Not to be dramatic or anything…

And this week, I worked out once. Today. Wednesday. Mid-week. And I’m okay with it (after freaking out about it yesterday). Because I’m back! Because a few days off is a “drop in the bucket”, according to my #gymspirational gym friend. Because I know how to get back on track, (like dying at Orangetheory and having a smoothie for dinner). Because bettering my health is a journey. There are going to be some road blocks, and I’m going to have to navigate them.

If you “fall off the wagon”, get back on! I promise it’s going to be okay. I have to tell myself this often. And you should too!

XOXO,

Brynn