Focus

Wow. I mean…WOW, it’s been a WHILE. Hi guys. I missed you all.

In the past month (er…almost two?), I’d go out for a run or be in the grocery store or at my workouts class and writing posts in my head. Then I’d get home, get busy, get distracted, and not write anything down. Lazy? I prefer to say I’ve been focused.

So true. (Image courtesy of michaelczinkota.com)

So true.
(Image courtesy of michaelczinkota.com)

Toward the end of last semester, I had to really put my blinders on and focus on the most important things in my life. Thus, I had my limits.

Finals (ugh), health, family, work, and celebrating the holidays and winter break were my highest priorities for the past month. As much as I love writing, it sits solidly on the back burner of my life when things go bananas. It’s not my job. It’s relevant to what I do and certainly a part of what I want to continue doing. But still, not my job.

I want a box like this on my desk.

I want a box like this on my desk.

And neither is running. So, when life happens, sometimes running takes a back seat. At various points in my life, I have had to sit it out from running for stretches of weeks and months.

Getting sick and having two major abdominal surgeries taught me to appreciate everything my body can do.

It's tough to run when attached to IVs and such.

It’s tough to run when attached to IVs and such.

I no longer care so much if I PR in every race. If I “only” get a 4 mile run in, it’s still worth going out and doing. If I have to drop down from a full to a half because my body is working double duty, so be it.

There are millions of reasons why someone may need to (or should be ok with) cutting back or taking a break from running. The important thing is to be able to recognize that:

  1. Running is not your job.
  2. Running is not who you are.
  3. Running is not the only way to get sweaty.

It’s ok to put it down and pick it up as your life changes. Taking a break does not mean you’ve failed or are weak or that you aren’t a runner anymore.

It's ok to take a moment for yourself.

It’s ok to take a moment for yourself.

Don’t feel guilty about taking a step back from something like running. It can be a great thing to do for yourself, especially if you plan on coming back to it at some point.

I’m down to 15-20 miles/week from 65 miles/week back in September. Do I miss it? Yeah. Is it gonna kill me to taper back in order to focus on other things? Definitely not. Gotta get through this semester with my sanity intact and stay healthy.

So, you may hear from me less. I may be running less. But I’ll be back.

Just like Arni. (Image courtesy of TriStar Pictures)

Just like Arni.
(Image courtesy of TriStar Pictures)

Now go out and run.

What have you been up to this winter? Anyone running a race coming up in the spring? I feel for you all who ran through the Polar Vortex. It was brutal out there! Stay warm, friends!

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9 thoughts on “Focus

  1. I love this post! I always take a running break in the winter and I find that I come back in the spring excited, refreshed and faster. I also like alternating between focusing on lots of Refine with little to no running, and then when I’m training I flip it. It helps prevent me from burning out my two favorite ways to sweat. I need a Not My Job box at work, and I love that dog lying on the ground.

  2. I was just telling my secretary, I have never been so out of control on my exercise schedule. I’ve been fighting it tooth and nail, setting my alarm for 5 am ever morning, hoping that will be the morning, i’ll bound out of bed and into my sneaks. but alas, working two jobs and getting my mba, it’s not worth fighting, i know i’ll be back, i just need to be patient and not keep beating myself up for it. spring is around the corner. Thanks for sharing, you’re always an inspiration, keep up the good work in school

  3. I live in lower quebec canada and im going to be running a winter run in a week. I am up for distance I can easily run. But I have not actually run outside in the cold snow and the 5k is out side. It is jan 25th any advice for the last minute practice I can do ?

      • Oh, gotcha. WARM UP!!!!!!!!!! If the roads are clear, normal shoes. If there’s snow, YakTraks work great. If there’s ice, don’t race. For clothes, a moisture-wicking bottom layer and a think but winter-proof top layer (Uniqlo or Lululemon have great thin, down jackets). Keep those digits & ears covered and bring plenty of warm, dry clothes for after the race.

  4. I work at my own pace. Ran/walked my one and only 5k in 2012. Have not finished the c25k training yet or done another 5k since though I used to walk 4 miles weekly in NJ. Start and stop. Moved to Jonesboro, GA. NO SIDEWALKS. ARGGGGH. Back to walking. Back in the gym. Determined to walk (maybe run sometimes) away the pounds. Hearing great encouraging stories of people who lost a whole lot more weight than I want to lose by walking or running. Only competing against myself. Will get there when I get there.

  5. Pingback: Saturday Scribbles | Non-Stop Crazy

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