Lately I have not been motivated to run. It's been difficult to get out the door and go.Once I'm out there, I judge my performance - how fast (not) I'm going, how well I'm breathing, and how far I think I can go. It's not been far, or fast, or easy. So I've skipped a lot of runs. And the ones I've done haven't been at all inspiring.
When I'm able to be objective about it, these troughs seem natural. It can't always be easy, and one can't always see continuous improvement. The measurement stick is too blunt - there are so many micro-changes that happen as a result of running, so many modifications that happen at the cellular level, that using pace to track doesn't tell us very much. I try to remember this when I'm running, but the urge to judge is sometimes to much for me.
Yesterday I finally turned the data display off on my running watch. It made a huge difference. I actually enjoyed the run, because it didn't feel like such a slog. It was a beautiful sunny day and I found a groove and I was sad when it ended. Taking a break from running earlier in the week definitely helped, but it was the removal of up-to-the-minute evaluation that really made the difference.
I used to question people who would drop out of a race because their time wasn't going to be "good enough," but now I know that I've been doing the same thing in practice. And I also know that it's tempting to throw in the towel when it seems there's no chance of success. That the measure of success is something we choose for ourselves is easily forgotten. I forgot that I just want to run and I lost sight of the fact that it doesn't matter how fast I go - it's not a measure of whether I am a runner.
The parallels with sobriety are obvious. It's funny that I have to relearn this lesson over and over again.