I always feel like such a bum after the running season. I finished my so called season on Sunday after the marathon. Now, I am in that break or recovery phase until I am ready to start training again. I haven’t done much in the way of training the last few days. I get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, kill time in the apartment, go to bed, and repeat the whole cycle. I don’t know how normal people do it. Its just such a boring cycle. To me, the brightest part of my day is when I am out running or soon after I complete a run. Without running or training, I just feel like the everyday 9-5’er. When I run I feel different. I look around at my coworkers and think, “I just ran 12 miles yesterday, what did you do?” I have a quiet self confidence walking around the office as if I live a more well rounded life. I feel better about myself and my life.
Without running, I just lose all focus and self respect. I turn into a slob. I actually snack constantly and gobble down any garbage food I can get my hands on. I find myself wasting more time because I don’t know what to do with myself. I have less energy. I sleep longer hours and feel worse when I wake up. I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I lose focus spiritually. Long story short, I just stop caring about myself.
During the most intense weeks of training, I can’t wait for the season to end so I can go on a long hiking trip or some other escapade. I always tell myself the break period is going to be a great time for me to do other things with my time. It’s funny how it all works out because when the season does end, all I want to do is train and prepare for the next challenge. I have come to the general conclusion that no matter how bad it sucks during the season, the hours of training and pain are worth it.
I often think I am making too many sacrifices just so I can run at an enjoyably competitive level. There is little time or energy for other hobbies. I read somewhere that it is more beneficial to be in the top 20% at everything, than to be the best at one thing. In other words, be a jack of all trades. In the corporate world, this idea holds true. CEO’s and bosses aren’t the best at any one thing, but have good knowledge of all areas in their respective fields. In my world, with regards to running, I would rather pursue the unattainable dream of being a world champion than to settle for beating 80% of the field.