Ideally the purpose of a recreational activity one spends a lot of time pursuing should include fun. In the nearly decade I've been a runner I've loved it. Even when it's a hard run (which is not an infrequent occasion), I've loved it. I've loved the challenge, the runner's high, and the sacrifice of time and sore hips/knees. Running is my lover, and we've had a good thing going for quite a while.
Right now we're going through a rocky patch. It's not you, running. It's definitely me. I've lost my focus. I want to love you the way I used to, but I can't seem to find my way back to you. Instead of feeling joyful, tacking on extra miles just feels like work. Every step feels labored instead of feeling triumphant. Even those brief moments where you give me what I need just aren't enough anymore.
I hate that I feel this way about running right now. Let's be honest - I'm entirely too goal oriented and focused to stop training for the New York Marathon. I made a commitment, and even if I struggle through every single training mile between now and November, I will run that race.
Having a baby is one surprise source of exhaustion. I'm not being sarcastic; I really didn't expect I'd still be so tired. He's sleeping through the night pretty regularly, but I underestimated 1) how sleep deprivation would sneak up on me months after his birth like a ninja and 2) how I would actually go to sleep later in order to catch up on chores, read or do work. My son is in bed by 7:30-8 pm. For years I've had a solid 10 pm-6 am sleep cycle, and now if I'm in bed before 11 pm on a regular basis it's surprising. There's just so much to do, and if I go to sleep it means those tasks don't get accomplished.
My health is a second surprise source of exhaustion (again denial that Crohn's is actually an issue that affects me.) My stored iron (ferritin) level is a touch low. My doctor told me ideally my ferritin level should be around 100 nanograms per millimeter of blood (the measurement doesn't matter except for the number 100.) My ferritin level in June was 5. that's gonna leave a mark. Now it's around 10, and my doctor is ordering iron infusions. I have a medical reason for exhaustion, but I keep trying to ignore it and hope it'll get better. That strategy has surprisingly not been effective.
It might take a little time and effort, but I know running and I will get back to where we used to be. Relationships take work, and I know I'm high maintenance. It takes a lot of work to be enough for me, but running ultimately knows I'm worth it. He'll be there when I'm ready to come crawling back.