Running is Just Not a Sport
I came across this video right before typing this blog post, but it fits the theme in my head perfectly.. more on that in a moment.
First a few running links from the week:
The Often Forgotten Group: The Sub Elites - Also known as the Bootleggers Running Club
Garmin Forerunner 220 In-Depth Reviews - If I shell out for a GPS watch, I would go for this one just due to the lower price point than..
Garmin Forerunner 620 In-Depth Review - This is a sexy beast, but just too expensive.
Okay so maybe not that many links, but like you were going to click each one?
Question: What are your favorite podcasts? I'm currently tracking Kevin Smith, NPR Stuff, Radio Lab. Science... Sort Of.., and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
This next portion is more of just a mental exploration for me and geting it down in writing. It is not an uplifting piece, advice, or even funny, it is just me exploring me at this moment in time. So feel free to skip this section as it won't be very useful or even interesting to 98% of you and probably make 99.9% of you roll your eyes. Just highlight the text if you want to read it. Otherwise, scroll down to the gif!
I've mentioned in various posts how running is much more than an exercise to me, running is often my refuge, my outlet, my "me time", my community, my hobby, my sugar that makes my coffee start my day.
I've complained, mopped around, I dramatize it, but logically I know it is just a short blip of time (I hope) and honestly ANGAF. I can still use the gym to hit the bike and lift. I'll probably be back running before I know it and look back to how big of a baby I am. But this post isn't about that, it's about this moment in time and examining the why.
Since becoming a father and having a family unit that redefines your life, it is easy to forget your prior identity and to make time that is for yourself. And when you do, you can feel guilty and selfish doing it. You think, is holding onto this unhealthy? Am I just not moving forward and accepting the new? But the the urges stay there to find your time to focus on anything you want to, be it everything or nothing. To be in control of your environment. I used to be big into tech and games, stay up late playing online, dig into the forums and that was my thing. Now, duh, it is running
And that is my current issue. Running does so much for me, I don't consider it exercise. It became engraved as a need. Many of you can relate on feeling cranky if you miss your run. It is similar to that, just amplified a few fold. I'm generally pretty patient, but after the time off from the marathon, and now the time off from trying to heal up, I can feel the build up. I can't pin it on tension, emotions, factors during my day, or events as honestly, nothing bad is happening, nobody is being rude to me, and my family is great. Am I just missing the high? More than that. I'm missing that time I had where I reflected on my identity. The time of the day I could rely on to be for me, know I was doing what I wanted, and do it guilt free as I don't have to neglect anyone else for that time frame. It sets me up for the day, so that no matter what I can look back and say, I at least had that time today, I can't complain.
Well now I don't have that for extended time and I just don't feel proper. The commute to and fromwork, try to make that my time? Nope, read or listen to music/podcasts. Those distractions are just to make the time go by faster in an environment that doesn't exactly scream, find your zen. I'm trying out a new book soon, maybe that will help.
I can watch some TV or a sports game, but as my wife will testify to, once I actual try to follow or focus on a show (or anything), I become very boxed off and not very social (unless of course you are screaming at the game with me). So that is a hard activity to count as down time or me time, (just like Sauron, who does not share power) as I either am being annoying by not paying attention to my family or being annoying in how I share my attention with my family.
Then there is my time at the gym. I'm sorry, but weights and stationary biking just don't do it. Not even close. The gym is just exercise. There is no self exploration, losing yourself, pushing yourself harder, testing yourself. Weights is a slow progression, I'm either going to be able to finish that third set of 15lb weights or I won't. That last set you either hit failure or you do it. This has nothing on running, where you can keep digging deep, be it for 400 meters or 4 miles. That time you spend soul searching to go is amazing. Having it cut down to just a few moments of grunting is unsatisfactory to me. That said, I am glad to at least have weekday access to a full gym and exercise, but that isn't the point of this post. The point is to find why my balance is off and if it is indicative of something greater.
I definitely miss actually being with my running friends (can I scratch out running and say friends? I think that is a stronger term), and seeing everyone still at it, races, events, I get a bit down not being able to be there too. Now not all of this is due to not running, family wise, my wife and child always come first, so missing events isn't new. It isn't like I'm excluded from anything, I'm actually included in it all, it is more like just waving the bus to skip your stop.
Every day I feel a bit more.. aggressive. A bit more of a bite itching to surge out with my actions. A little more negativity lingering in the background. I feel mentally displaced. I'm very aware of the dark tides breaking on my mental shores. I'm also very aware that everything else is good, that I have no reactionary reason to be internally raging against the machine. I feel blessed to have a supportive job, a wonderful family, and be part of a great running community. All signs say, oh get the F over your lincoln park moodiness, ain't nothing crawling in your skin, and your legs they will heal.
All logical signs say I should be singing in the rain and smiles. I'm not saying I'm a depressed crank all day, I'm not. I'm just saying, I am looking off the shores at what is surging and am trying to ward it off and see what is causing the waves.
Is running that much of a life enhancer to me? A necessity, a drug? Is it a placeholder for whatever me time/hobby I currently use to keep me fully balanced? Probably. And honestly, I don't know what else could replace it anymore for me. I don't see myself waking up at 3something am to play video games, crotchet, or perfect a secret BBQ sauce. Bikram Yoga can come close, but that is even a bigger time sink and more costly, so a no go for me.
So for now, build up those mental sand bags filled with logic and facts, and not block out all the positives life has given me... Although if you see me turn green, it means the sand bags broke and I am now the incredible hulk.
You didn't actually read that did you?
If not, good job! it was really boring. Happy Friday Eve! Any big plans or activities today or tomorrow that I should keep a lookout for?