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Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Don’t give up

I wrote this last November for the MRTC runners, so some of you may have already seen it.  If you’re out there, on the DL, feeling out of the running loop for whatever reason:  Don’t give up!  Hang in there!


You don’t hit the sweet spot on runs most of the time, or at least I don’t.  Usually something hurts or is at least uncomfortable or it’s hot or cold or dry or wet weather or your shirt is bugging you — you know how it goes.  For a long time while I had four kids at home and worked my running was pretty hit-and-miss. I’d get started and then the hubs would be out of town for two weeks and all four would get the flu and then give it to me, and next I knew it was three months since I had run.  But I always kept my subscription to Runner’s World.  I knew if I didn’t keep some piece of running it might someday just completely slip away.  Finally in 2002 I got back into running consistently.  I did my first half that year and my first full the next year.  In 2008 with some nagging injuries I backed off running.  I’d hit it for a while and then something would get in the way, life, another injury, whatever.  Finally in December last year I resolved that I wanted 2011 to be the year I ran.  No goals, just run.  It was iffy at the start, I was still hit-or-miss but I didn’t quit.  In June I decided to train for a marathon just to prove I could still do it.  I didn’t tell anyone for a while, I was afraid to jinx it.  But here I am, the last week of training before the taper.  I had to make myself run today, I had the donwannas but I set out anyway — and immediately I was in the sweet spot.  I was at a mile before I felt I’d even touched pavement.  My feet seemed to have feathers, floating just off the ground.  It was beautiful out – grey and breezy but not too cold and not too hot.  Not too windy and not too sunny.  It was the run we all pursue but only occasionally catch.

Now –  I’m still slightly crazy about the taper, still superstitious about the marathon, still wish I were faster and my form was better:  In other words, I’m a normal runner.  And the reason I’m telling you this rambling story is to say to all of you out there right now getting this email and trying to squeeze 25 hours of life and work and kids into each day, on the DL, just plain burned out, whatever – DON’T GIVE UP.  Give yourself the time or space you need for now, but don’t quit.  Take some piece of running – Runner’s World, MRTC membership, tape an old race bib to the refrigerator – anything – and every time you see that piece say to it:  “I’ll be back.  I’m going to be back.  It might not be today or this week or this month, but I’m coming back.”

Happy Trails!

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14 thoughts on “Don’t give up

  1. I think this is fantastic advice, not only for running, but for writing, or quilting or basket weaving. Sometimes I just get annoyed that I have to sleep–that could be quality time to get stuff done! But your post rings true. Glad to hear it’s “normal.”

    • I love “normal”. Normal is code for “whoa. We all go through the stuff we thought no one else went through” We all think we’re alone at some point with whatever we’re struggling with and then we find out everyone else is struggling with some variation of the same thing.

  2. You have NO IDEA how much I needed to read these words today! 🙂

  3. The ups and downs of a running life are strange, but the lessons you learn, and your message here, transfer well to the rest of life. My latest running weirdness was getting over a couple nagging injuries and then learning to run without thinking about it! I was so worried about getting hurt that it was no fun…for about four weeks. But I’m baaaaack!

    • GOOD GIRL! Hang in there! Right now I’m learning the benefits of cross-training. Hopefully I won’t do that 127% and get injured the same way I have in the past when I’ve done something else 127% thinking it was a good thing…are we ALL Type A’s, here??

      • Well, type As? Mebbe…I’ll tell you, though, I’m an organizer for a fairly big 5K, and we’re in full gear right now. This always drives home the point that BIG MONEY can be made off the egos of runners. I’m proud to have one of those egos. 🙂

        • What 5K are you organizing? When is it? I’m co-director of a Women Run/Walk Program that runs for 10 weeks, July-September and culminates in a 5K for just those ladies. I know it’s a big job putting on a race!

          • It’s a fundraiser for a local hospital cancer center on June 9th (protecting my identity from corporate spies here…) We’re in our second year, but we had a whopping turnout last year–1,050 people. That’s a result of good corporate marketing! It got a bit frightening. We thought it was a joke we’d ever get a couple hundred.

            • Holly as a recent first time 5K Race Director can I just tell you how insanely envious I am of your 1,000+ turn out?! My personal high number was 500 and we ended up with 282 finishers (348 registrants). Would love to pick your brain about some of that “good corporate marketing” for my event next year. IF I’m not pushing the boundaries of our Followers of Terri Lee friendship?

            • I will give you a thorough report soon–will check my records at work tomorrow, but I’m traveling this weekend, so I will post on Sunday. I can tell you a few things, though–get some good information printed (maybe as a donation?) and get it into bags or onto tables at other races. We bought a mailing list from another well-attended (and well-established) race and sent out brochures. I think some of the mailing costs were donated as well. Mobilize a crew to put posters and signup sheets everywhere–health clubs, grocery stores, schools, and businesses. We also got community involvement: the boy scouts man our water stops, and I have girl scouts fill our race bags (it’s a blast!). But believe me, we were shocked as our registration numbers grew and grew…Local law enforcement joined our meetings to help us with crowd control! It was sooo worth it.

              (More later…I need to pack!)

            • Holly this was hugely helpful! Thanks!

            • Here’s the rest of the story–all the parts work together! Make a Facebook page for the event, which people can “share” and “attend.” (Never underestimate social media, and it’s FREE.) Mostly, I think community involvement was huge. We have a local childcare center organize a kids’ run. We sent out requests to businesses for door prizes (following up with phone calls), which not only got us the prizes, but got the word out! Get the race info into the paper, on the radio, and on TV public service announcements. We also dedicated our first race to a couple women in our company who’d died of cancer, letting their family members participate for free in the walk, wearing the first bib numbers. Last of all, if you can have someone make a website for the race, especially as a way to sign up or print the registration form, that’s all the better. I can’t say our success is due to any one thing, but it was a combination of all these things. Facebook and community involvement were probably very big factors. Good luck! (Sorry for highjacking the blog for a while!)

            • Thanks Holly!!

  4. Pingback: She said: Don’t give up | Middle-Aged Woman (newly) On The Run!

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