Running and health is a form of art. Simple yet complicated.

There are so many moving parts physically, mentally and spiritually. Everyone strives to be the best they can be whether it is running, health or anything else. They pour their sweat and tears into their passions.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my running career. I have made a lot of mistakes with my health. Some minor and some borderline dangerous.

I have struggled with my own demons that have held me back physically and mentally in running and healthy living. I am improving – but I will never be perfect.

My Mistakes and Flaws

Runners are a tricky bunch. Runners develop their own weird habits, vices and actions that get them through their day. They have to. If you are working full time, dealing with life stresses, and trying to run as well – its a recipe for mistakes. How big of a mistake – well, that is up to you to judge.

I will admit it. I was stupid. I had identity issues for the longest time on not only what I wanted to do with my life but how I defined myself. Was I a runner? Banker? Housewife? Combination of any number of things? Who was I?

I struggled with this and it caused me to assign my identity based on others. I compared myself. Big mistake!

I always got in arguments with Wes about how I thought he wished I was some amazingly fast runner. He thought it was funny at first because it wasn’t true and then after awhile you could tell it irritated him. He always told me that he didn’t care if I ran another step. He just wanted me to figure out who I was and to make my own path with my own passions. But, stupid me – that went in one ear and out the other at the time. I didn’t listen.

 

I thought I could do what he did and more without ramifications. My mistakes included:

  • Ramping up my mileage to 60–70 miles a week without any sort of base
  • High intensity workouts without a running base
  • Disordered eating
  • Never relaxing and being high strung
  • No form drills or strength work

Well there is a nice recipe for disaster! Oh and it was…case and point a femoral stress fracture.

Here is something that people will find interesting and possibly funny. Wes is an absolute candy-holic. He is not proud of it but is well aware that it is a huge vice of his. He developed it during the beginning of medical school as a way to cope with the stresses of studying for hours upon end and trying to stay motivated and awake to study and run. He would and still does sometimes go and get a huge 2 pound bag of bulk candy from Wegmans.

Candy1

He would do this on many of nights that he would study – he said it relaxed him and kept him alert. Unhealthy – oh yeah! He is the first person to tell you that he is an idiot and accepts that. But, it is what worked for him – what got him through his day – allowed him to keep up his running and doing well in medical school. This unfortunately all rubbed off on me and it all played into my eating issues at the time. I would sometimes watch what I ate so that I too could enjoy candy at night if I was with Wes – big mistake!

I was flawed in this regard and struggled with eating disorder problems. Yes, I said it.

I still find myself wanting to get my mileage up to ‘x’ number, sometimes. I feel honesty is key here even if it is through a blog. Again, I say – I am not perfect.

Progress Begins

While I find myself thinking about old ways whether its disordered eating or wanting to run more mileage too quickly – I have voices of reason now. My injury history combined with my gained knowledge about myself allow me to keep some of those harmful thoughts at bay. This is progress.

Pre-Trip.jpg

For the most part – I have overcome my disordered eating past – I think my 2–3 month span of all weight-lifting helped me learn more about nutrition and what my body needed. But, again – not perfect.

I don’t have good running form. But, I am working on it. I am doing drills. I suck at doing strength and core work. But, I have started incorporating it 3–4 times a week now. I’m seeing the light and making progress.

Accepting Myself

I never ran or did sports when I was in high school or college. Running or sports was never who I was, I knew nothing of running or health. I was a flute playing high school student that studied a lot.

Race Together

When I met Wes was the first time I ever really considered running. I envied that free feeling he got from running. And, I will be honest, I envied his ability to eat whatever he wanted because of his running. Cue the possible spark to my sporadic disordered eating.

Looking back – I obviously see that I was wanting to be what Wes was with running. I hadn’t learned to accept my own history of athletics and my own way of running for me. I hadn’t accepted who I was.

Wes has always said that he has a lot of confidence in me and that I can be an amazing runner. I trust him. But, he always follows that up with –  I alone will be the determining factor in that.

 

I write this to express my thoughts, spread some honesty, and to initiate some level of openness on topics people stay away from.

Some may see this as rambling but I see it as a level of therapy combined with accountability.

I’m not perfect – far from it. But, thats OK. I am improving everyday.

 

Since I never heard from the winner of the Apera Sprint Pack I drew another.  The winner is Megan Lyons

Also, the winner of the Alo Yoga $50 gift card is Nikki!

Congrats ladies! Please email me at saralovingontherun{at}gmail{dot}com and we will get your items on their way to you!

 

What have you had to accept about yourself over time?

Have you ever compared yourself too much to others?

Tell me something random! (So I don’t feel like this post was a jumbled mess.)

 

[Tweet "Ramblings From An Imperfect Runner via @LovingOnTheRun #runchat #run #running #runner”]

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