There are a lot of reasons I love running without headphones, but one of my favorites is it allows me time to think. It allows me time to prioritize my to do list, write blogs in my head, and practice a presentation that's coming up the next week. This past weekend as I was running the Silver Bells in the City 5k it mostly gave my body time to scream at me. I ended up running a respectable 25:08, but it didn't feel good. As I was running (not even close to a PR pace) I was imagining what my body would say if I could write me a letter:
It's not me; it's you. This year I've given you my absolute best. You've had your fastest ever running year. You've run significant PRs at every distance. You have been injury free for the first time in the decade that you've been running. I've given you the energy to keep up with an exuberant baby. I've given you the focus to start a new job. How have your chosen to repay me?
You've chosen to abuse me. At every turn you've pushed harder. Look, we've been together for 37 years. I know your style. But I'm not taking it anymore. I'm going to show you who's boss. You haven't even made it through the first loop of this 5k, but you're feeling it aren't you? In your back, your hips, your feet? I know. I'm protesting. We crushed the New York Marathon, but that wasn't enough. You had to run a half marathon the next week and schedule two 5ks in the following two weeks. I'm exhausted. I'm not just a little bit tired. I'm out of gas. It's been three weeks since the marathon, but it feels like it was just hours ago. I need a break.
I don't want to you to stop running forever, but I need a rest. Maybe you should start swimming again. Maybe take some yoga classes. I'm begging you to take a break. Otherwise I can't make any promises about my running performance next year. Remember how you want to renew your goal to shatter the 5k? If you aren't kind to me it's not going to happen. So keep that in mind, and let's regroup after the first of the year shall we?