Since I graduated from college, I have fulfilled the void of no longer being an official “athlete” with training for some kind of race every year. I always loved the summer before a soccer season, blasting the Rocky soundtrack in my ears and dreaming about the kind of athlete I always wish I could be when in the gym, working on my ball skills or running up the stadium stairs at the crack of dawn. When I graduated from college and no longer had a season to train for, I filled it with triathlons, 5ks, 10ks, half- marathons, marathons, etc. It filled that void just fine.
Despite the amount of work that was required to run these races, I still never trained for time. I just did the miles I had to, sometimes at a slow pace, sometimes at a fast pace. But I had no intention of “racing”, just getting out there and enjoying myself and doing better than last time.
However, in the past couple years, I began to get a little more serious, I wanted to push my boundaries a little farther. So with that came a lot of sacrifice. Even though training is my own sick version of “fun”, I missed out on a lot of other fun because I had goals in mind. It wasn’t about just getting in the miles. I had to get them in fast. I had to hit the hills hard, I had to hit the track hard and I had to hit the weights hard. I also had to do this while maintaining graduate school and 60 plus hour work weeks. It is safe to say that for the most of 2013, I have been absolutely exhausted.
This year took a lot out of me physically and emotionally. This year also brought upon a whole new level of Jill “lameness”. I barely had a drop of alcohol or ate anything bad. I did not stay up late often and I missed out (and was crabby for) a lot of fun events because I was tired, and needed to preserve as much energy as I could for that 15 mile pace run coming up… or that 2 hour long track workout etc.
Shain often gets dragged into this as well. If we are at a friends house or out and about somewhere, I am usually the one tugging away at him so that we can go early. Sometimes he would rightfully put up fight, but most of the time he appeased me despite if he was not ready to go. The guilt would always get to me. Why couldn’t I enjoy myself for once? A couple beers isn’t going to hurt me. Why can’t I ever be fun? Why did Shain have to suffer and leave his friends just because I have a hard workout tomorrow? I tend to become obsessive with my goals, sometimes to the point where it is not healthy. And I want to change that. I want to be more FUN.
I am not saying I will be up until 3am every weekend and doing keg stands, I never have been able to drink much or stay up late even in my college years. But I want a better balance. And now that I do not have a race on the horizon for a while, I am ready to let loose for a little bit. I spent this past weekend in the city with my best friend, time with her is always so valuable to me, and it made me realize that I need to do stuff like this more often. I need to spend time fostering my relationships and having FUN.
It has been roughly 3 weeks since the Naperville Marathon and a little over a month since the Chicago Marathon. My body is still not recovered. I took a week off and expected that I could just jump right back in to my crossfit/running routine with out a problem, I even signed up for an indoor soccer league. But I have been struggling. My body still feels so broken. Doesn’t help that my heart is still very broken too. I know I just need time. Time to let my body, heart and mind heal so that when 2014 comes, I can hit it hard again. I have a plan that I know will get me where I need to be. But for now, it is time to let go and have more fun for once.
Stay blessed in the mess 🙂