Making Running Personal and My Own | Doing What is Right For Me

Thanks to all of those who patiently waited for me to return from hiatus.  After 6+ years of blogging, I felt i needed a break and regroup.

 

For the last 3 years, I have struggled with the concept of running.  Somewhere in 2014, I began to not want to run and not even race.  Yet, I continued on, as I was focused on my goal of getting a BQ so I could run Boston 2016.  My last attempt and last marathon was September 2015 and that began a horrible journey of discovery. It was at that time i was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease of Meniere’s Disease (not contagious in any way).  By the time I was closing in on the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend, I was ready to walk away from it all.  2 weeks prior to the event, I couldn’t even run/walk 10 miles.  I sent messages to friends telling them my predicted outcome and I was nearing my end of my running career.  It was wearing me down both physically and emotionally.  I no longer felt running was fun.  Time to move on, right?

Tinkerbell weekend was my final turning point.  My body did not fail me, in fact it surprised me.  I am grateful I finished upright and with a solid time, so very grateful.

Yet, I was still emotionally not wanting to run nor race.  I had grown tired of the same old, same old.  I could not wait to get out of Anaheim and go home.

 

  1. Training
  2. Going to the race
  3. Run the race
  4. Finish the race
  5. Grab a medal and food
  6. Meet up with friends to discuss:  1.  The course  2.  What went wrong and why we didn’t PR  3.  Ate food  4.  Took pictures with our medals  5.  Talk some more 6.  Left the race.
  7. Posted pictures on social media with our medals

And so on.

 

Sound familiar?  I had lost my zeal and zest for running, it was no longer fun for me.

 

 

Yet, I knew I needed to keep running to keep up my health.  I don’t like to swim nor bike, so my options are very limited.  I had to find ways to make running fun again. These are the things I am changing, effective immediately.  Of course, they are subject to change.

 

      1. This will be my last year to run the Disneyland Double Dare (formerly known as the Dumbo Double Dare).  I am a legacy of this Challenge, but this is my final year.  After too many poorly managed Disneyland runDisney races and cutbacks, I no longer feel the races are worth the extra money.  I will be spending my time and monies where it should be – at the Disney parks with my family & friends. Disneyland Park is sacred to me, I am not going to allow the changes and cutbacks to get in the way of me enjoying my special place.
      2. Unless I earn an Overall or Age Division award at an event, I will not be posting my picture with the finisher medal.  In my first year of running, I was obsessed with medals.  Even to this day, my medals displayed in my home office.   Let’s face it, running is a Narcissist sport.  We train, we post about the details.  We are sick, we go into great detail how sick we are and we will triumph over the disease on race day.  We take pictures, before (and sometimes during) the race.  At the end of the race, we start a parade of medal pictures.  This is where I get uncomfortable.  I do not believe in Participation Trophy mentality, I don’t believe we should over praise every step we take on a race course or while in training.  Is running a 5k a big deal?  Of course it is, but I don’t believe we need a medal for every distance.  An event is about the clock (that is why they are timed).  If I don’t meet my goals, that’s on me.  I don’t need a medal to tell me “good job”, I know when I have done a good job and I have not.  Going forward, I may post pictures of me post race, but not with my finisher medal.  I might even post on Instagram #NoMedalMonday.  I need to find my confidence for me, not because of a medal.  Of course, there may be exception to my new self-imposed rules, but for the most part, my posts will be medal-less.  Will I join in group photos post-race?  Of course, I will but I won’t be wearing my medal.  This is for me and what makes me comfortable.  For the time being, I will be medal-less.
      3. Virtual runs are out.  If I want to support the charity, will send them a check.  I don’t need a medal to run for a charity.   I have participated in several virtuals and even planned a few.  They have never felt right to me, they seem like nothing more than a training run that I get a medal.  I can do a training run for free and like I said, if I want to support the charity – I will send them money.

This is a long time coming and it has taken me 3 years to figure out what I wanted or felt I needed in my running career.  I am at peace with this and grateful I can focus on what I enjoy about running (if that is even possible anymore) and not be bogged down with all the other stuff.

I support all of you in your own running journey, as long as it is your own journey.  Don’t fall into the trap that I fell into – running because of what everyone else was doing.  If something is uncomfortable to you, change it.  You don’t have to race every weekend or every month!  Your worth is not in how many medals you hang on the wall.  Your worth is based on you as a human being.  I encourage you to find your niche with running, who cares what others are doing.  Make it your own.  If medals are your thing – go for it!  If medals aren’t your thing – box ’em up or toss them or donate them.  Find your place in this sport.  I said it before, make it your own.

 

That is what I am doing.

Charlene L. Ragsdale – Las Vegas, NV
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