Well, the streak is broken…
For the past 7 years, I’ve done a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day – you know cuz that’s how we runners celebrate food and family…it’s awesome, don’t judge.
But seriously, think about it – what better way to express gratitude for our health than going for a run with a bunch of people who share your love for the sport.
However, this year, I broke with tradition and chose not to run a race yesterday…GASP!!! If you’re a runner, that probably just blew your mind. You may even be wondering such things like:
- What kind of runner doesn’t run a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day??
- Does this mean Alison’s “off of running”?
- Does it mean she’s burning out and losing her edge?
- Does it mean that she’s not a “real runner”?
I know, I know – I’ve sent your runner brain into a tizzy and you’re not sure what to make of this all. But, I wouldn’t read that much into it if I were you.
I mean, so what? My streak has ended. No biggie.
As for what does this say about me as a runner, that’s easy – it says absolutely nothing. Let me explain why.
Instead of running a Thanksgiving-themed race, I made the decision to practice yoga yesterday morning with the lovely and talented Jessica Snow. For a few weeks, I’ve been feeling super grateful for this incredibly strong and capable body of mine that’s done all I’ve asked of it this year (and then some). It flawlessly executed every single one of my goals and I couldn’t be prouder.
The sad thing is that anytime prior to this year, it wouldn’t have been enough to satisfy me. I’d have looked at that impressive list of accomplishments and only seen all the things I could’ve done better lingering there in between the lines, in those small empty spaces – I could’ve run this one faster, I wish I would’ve broken the 1700 mile mark, I should’ve squeezed in another marathon…coulda, woulda, shoulda.
Despite all I’d done, it used to never be enough. And so, I’d push harder and go longer, never stopping to honor this amazing body and mind that rose to the occasion time and time again.
Now I love running more than most people I know – and over the years, I’ve come to love it so much that I’m totally willing to leave it alone from time to time, if and when necessary. But I don’t actually ever “take breaks” from running, what I do is far simpler than that – some days, I go for a run and some days I don’t.
I also love it enough to get that if I want to be doing it into my 80s, I’ve got to give my body what it needs from time to time instead of always just feeding my ego and (literally) running myself into the ground. Sometimes my body needs a 20-mile run and sometimes it needs an hour-long Savasana. And you know what? I’m better for doing both.
It’s called balance.
But if you’re still wondering what it all means about the kind of runner that this omission makes me, let me share what I’ve come to realize this year.
I am the kind of runner who has nothing to prove. The kind that doesn’t need validation of any kind to solidify her status as a badass runner. I mean, COME ON! I ran nearly 1700 miles this year so I’m pretty sure that I’m still allowed to call myself a runner – with or without a Turkey Trot in 2015.
And if you require more proof of just how meaningless my failure to run yesterday is or if you find yourself thinking this means that I’ve gone soft, just wait a week or two when I start training for my next cluster of Spring marathons and another ultra marathon in April. I’m pretty sure you’ll see that I still got it!
I had a flawless running year and I’m feeling stronger and fitter than ever…I’m a goddamned well-oiled machine. I don’t take that fact for granted. I’m full of gratitude for this perfectly imperfect body that carried me for the best and most-fulfilling 1640 miles of my entire life.
So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, in honor of my awesome body, yesterday I chose to express my gratitude for all that I have by giving myself what I needed most – love, compassion, and rest.
I’d say I’ve certainly earned it.
And guess what I did this morning? Yep, more yoga. Why? Because I’m not in support of declaring an all-out assault on my body just because I overate yesterday…I believe it and I deserve better than that. Instead, I listened to what my body and mind needed this morning and I ended up taking the most divine Vinyasa class with my girl Dorota..and it was FABULOUS!
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll feel like going for a run – or perhaps not 🙂