On Fitness and Failure

I’m somewhat surprised at the response I received to my post about dropping down to the Carmel Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t surprised at the positive comments I received, though the amount of people reaching out on here, Instagram, and Twitter did blow my mind a bit. I was, however, surprised at the amount of people who felt it was “brave” to share my feelings. 

I didn’t feel or find it “brave” to be honest, particularly in a forum that I made specifically for talking about running. But it made me realize just what social media has done to fitness culture.  If you’re not running 70+ miles a week, how dedicated are you? If you’re not posting your runs every day, you must be slacking. Don’t forget, you have to be aiming to PR at every race, otherwise what’s the point? I openly mention a struggle and that’s considered brave because of everything we see on instagram and twitter: sunshine and rainbows, or a crappy run but a motivational quote for the next time. 

I appreciate the time everyone took to respond to me, or even just read what I had to say. The comments and stories made me feel more at ease about my decision and also glad that I’m not alone in having a strong preference to racing… even if I am sort of alone on the whole “I’d rather run a 5k or half marathon than a long run or marathon” thought. 

I took a complete week off after making my decision. It was partially to rehab the twinge in my knee (which may or may not have been mostly mental; I didn’t test it to find out) but moreso to rehab my mind and refocus on future goals. This past week was my first one back and I ran 10 miles over 5 days with Dunkin. I just wanted to have fun this week. I did set out on Sunday for a solid 11 mile workout, but I was running at 4pm after having a large brunch at 2pm. I thought I could digest in time but the dry heaving for 2.5 miles told me otherwise. I ended up partially walking home and then calling J to pick me up as a result of a sketchy person slowing their car down by me not once, not twice, but THREE times in my own residential neighborhood. PSA – stay alert, always. 

I’m going to focus on fun between now and Carmel, with little to no taper. I might go to a 9-10 day training schedule now that it’s light out until 7:30-8pm, so running 2+ hours on a weeknight isn’t the end of the world. While I don’t know that I can get into sub 1:45 shape before Buffalo at the end of May, let alone sub 1:40, I intend to give it a solid run. I haven’t seeing 7:xx steadily on my watch in over a year and the pain I associate with that is making me hesitate to train, but I did something to get over it fast. I signed up for a series of races every Wednesday in April (3 miles at Chestnut Ridge weekly). I think I just need to rip the bandaid off and race something other than a long run again. 

Ultimately, I want to feel the fun in training again without having to take six months off and then rebuild. I’m just happy I recognized I wasn’t completely happy before getting to that point, unlike last time.   

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

10 thoughts on “On Fitness and Failure”

      1. Sounds good. Prabably not as sweet as Royal Vanilla but still on the sweeter side, try Woodford Reserve. Price point should be pretty close.

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  1. I second everything you said about what social media and blogging have done to running culture. I’ve spent the better part of a year trying to distance myself from the social media running community. I rarely post my runs on IG and if I do, I omit any details about pace and (usually) distance. I’m sure they’re lovely in real life, but I’ve also had to stop following a lot of the people in my feed who are obsessed with the sport and post every single workout they do online. I’m sure they’re lovely people, but it’s really helped me step back and gain some perspective. Even if not running 70 mpw makes me less “dedicated”…so what? I’m certainly not going to feel bad because I have a life outside running. It’s a *hobby*. It’s amazing how psyched out we can get about announcing a drop to a shorter distance (I did the same as you in 2015 and I too was oddly nervous about telling anyone), when in reality nobody actually cares.

    I’m glad you did something that made you feel better and will allow you to enjoy the sport more. At the end of the day, isn’t that the whole point? Good luck!

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    1. So glad you can relate! It felt so weird that I cared what people thought about me. Like, I apologized to a couple friends for it…. friends who undoubtedly support me in whatever the hell I want to do! Social media is weird. I think distancing yourself is a good idea. I find that the “motivating” posts don’t motivate me, personally. I just scroll on past… why am I even following them? It IS just a hobby and I’d like to not hate my hobby. It’s kind of what happened to me at the end of going to school for music. Music was my love and hobby but it in my face 24/7 made me distance myself hard afterwards.

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