What’s your motivation?

Last week I decided that I was going to begin a runstreak. I had signed up to do RED January (which is where you are active everyday during January).

“What’s a runstreak?” I hear you ask. Basically it’s when you run everyday, any distance over 1 mile, but you go everyday, no rest days.

So your second questions is probably “Why would you do that?”

Back in October I did my first half marathon and even though I’d put the training in I didn’t manage to run all of it and I ran it slower than I had hoped to. Because of that I didn’t really allow myself to celebrate the achievement of travelling 13.1 miles, which really should have been a huge achievement. My dad reminded me afterwards that not many people do park runs or can run 5k, fewer people manage to run 10K and even fewer people do half marathons or more.

So after the half marathon I felt quite flat and low (which is why I signed up for RED January, hoping it would boost my mental health), I didn’t even run for a couple of weeks, then, as I said, last week I decided to get back to it. My aim with the runstreak was to improve my stamina and endurance and to hopefully pick up my pace a little.

However, by day 6 my knee was complaining about the extra running and despite having only started the streak less than a week ago I was already feeling like I couldn’t stop and if I quit I would be some kind of failure.

Today I started to panic about what might happen if I missed a day due to being ill or having some family commitment. Would I get up crazy early or go out late at night just to get my runstreak in? And I realised that my thinking was starting to become a little obsessive about the runstreak. Maybe you’d already noticed that by the number of times I’ve written ‘runstreak’ in this post!

This shouldn’t have really come as much of a surprise to me but it did. I know I’ve had obsessive thinking in the past when it comes to exercise and food, but every time I tell myself that I will be able to manage and stay in control this time, that it won’t go to the extreme that it did last time.

And then I’m reminded how when we are trying to control and manage our lives that is when things start not going so well.

Why do I always think I can do God’s role far better than He can? Why do I not trust Him for my life and why do I feel like I need to be in control for things to be ok? For me to ‘be ok’?

Because at the moment, with me being ‘in control’ things aren’t going that well. I’m pushing myself to do something which has caused my body to suffer and still all I think is

Just push through it, keep going, because if you stop you’re a pathetic waste of space, you’ve told everyone that your doing a runstreak and you’ve failed, how humiliating and embarrassing, don’t you look stupid

So I think as hard as it is, I may need to let go of this runstreak and not allow it to hold me prisoner to it. I need to give myself the permission to stop, to not force myself to run in the pelting rain like some badge of honour and not to force myself to keep pushing even when I’m in pain. That is the surest and fastest way to get me to hate running and at the moment I do love it, it is my time to clear my head, boost my mood and chat to my running mummy friends. But I don’t think I need to do it religiously everyday in order to get that, because that is putting my faith in the wrong thing! Running is not my religion!

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