I had another post written. Another 2018 F3 Half Marathon Race Recap that was all set and ready to go, with all the pictures and everything. It was a cut and dry race repost that detailed the course, the packet pickup and highlights from the race. I spent about 2 hours writing it this afternoon. Right as my mouse was hovering over “publish,” I stopped myself because it wasn’t what I wanted to share. If you want a cut and dry F3 Half Marathon race recap, you can see my 2016 race recap or my 2017 race recap. You can also read about my training through my Sunday “weekly wrap” posts. But if you want an emotional Becca-personal-therapy-session-rant post then continue reading.
I almost didn’t run the F3 Half Marathon. Because I was ashamed.
I was ashamed that I would be slower than last year. I was ashamed that I weigh about 20 pounds heavier than I was last year. Actually, probably closer to 25, but I haven’t let myself weigh myself since New Years (PROGRESS). But I feel heavier. My clothes are tighter. I feel slower. I don’t feel fast and fit anymore. Suffering from the “How could you let yourself get to this point, Becca?” kind of shame.
There was a point in my eating disorder recovery where I actually felt good about how I looked. When, when I looked in the mirror, I noticed muscle. I mean, it wasn’t hard to do. When you go from weighing less than 100 pounds to trying to gain weight, any new muscle stands out pretty easily. Your body goes, “OH MY GOD, YOU MEAN I HAVE EXTRA CALORIES TO SPARE?! I’m going to rebuild the muscle that I’ve been eating away at because my human won’t eat!” Which is great for a while. Hence, my muscles popping out next to my bones. But then the body goes a bit overboard. It sucks in all the calories it can, thinking that it has to save up for the next time the dumb eating disorder brain wakes back up and realizes what’s happening. That huge disparity between bone and muscle gets lost as your body repairs itself and tries to find your naturally healthy weight.
On one hand, I am in a GREAT place physically compared to last year. I’m much healthier. On the other hand, I am heavier and slower. As readers know, I spent the last year training for ultra marathons and having a lot of success at them. But inherently, the training I did for these ultra marathons was different than road races. Trail running and back-to-back long runs slowed me down. Leading up to the F3 Half Marathon, I couldn’t help but compare myself to past Beccas. It’s especially hard when you run the same race multiple years in a row. You have an expectation in your head. And the thought of running 1:30 this year, like I had in the past?! Well, shit. Like I said, I was ashamed that I wouldn’t be able to, and actually considered not running.
But then I realized how utterly ridiculous that was.
Because running is not about numbers.
Running is not about your overall time, or pace, or what place you finish.
No, running is about community.
Running is about friendship.
Running is about supporting each other and celebrating each other.
Running is about that feeling of pure joy – that pure endorphin high and invincible feeling of flying that leaves you laughing and breathless.
Running is about loving the fact that your body can get you from point A to point B without injury REGARDLESS about how slow or fast you think you are.
Running is this:
Running is not about numbers. LIFE is not about numbers. It’s not about your overall time, your pace, your weight, your height, or any numerical constraint. Comparison is the thief of joy. I can’t believe I almost let that get in the way of something I absolutely love to do. I need to be better about living in the present. Being grateful that I actually CAN run. And remembering what running is really all about: pure happiness.