I don’t know quite where this one is going, it could be a rambling mess so you might want to buckle up. The bottom line is that running isn’t fun anymore. It is hard to put a finger on what is going on because nothing is fun right now. I’m working to address the other areas of my life where I’m less than happy but it is a special kind of hurt when running isn’t going right.

I know that part of the problem is that I’m either running with pain or running with fear of pain appearing at any moment. I’ve had a nagging Achilles issue since at least December, if not earlier. And like a good runner I paid it minimal attention and ran through it. Like an idiot. Bottom line, money is crazy tight and I don’t have the extra cash to spend on PT. I just don’t. And I know I’m paying a different kind of price right now for making that decision. However, I don’t think the constant uncertainty of my running is the issue.

I think the problem is that I lost my Why. I know that running is a part of my identity so I’ll never stray far from it, but it worries me that I feel aimless and without purpose about something that I believed was at my center. I did my best to push through what felt like a bump in the road but I think I’m off in the weeds. I maintained a base to get me across two finish lines this year but I didn’t feel connected to either. I was relieved to have them behind me and nothing in front of me.

I am signed up to pace a lap of the Umstead 100 in just a few short weeks. I had such a great experience last year that it seemed like a no brainer to do it again. But now I’m just a bundle of nerves. Will my body hold up to get my runner through those 12.5 miles? Will briefly committing to seeing someone else to their Why be enough? I don’t know. Should I back out now? Maybe. I feel like I could disappoint someone either way.

Nothing sounds good. No race stirs that joy and excitement in me. A good workout or run doesn’t bring the same pride. A small smile and a shrug, on to the next. I took 9 days off and I didn’t miss running. I almost dreaded getting back into it. The pain hadn’t left and the joy hadn’t come. So, what do I do? Take a longer break? Try something new? I wish I knew. I don’t feel tethered to anything...slipping through my own fingers.

I’m getting the Achilles checked out next week with hopes of receiving temporary relief and marching orders for more permanent healing that can be done at home. The physical body is so much easier to handle than the emotional one. I can’t present it to someone smarter than me, bend or shape it just so, and be on my way. I worry that if I don’t find my Why soon that I’ll just…disappear. I know that Why shifts and changes with time, but never have I had it go away so completely. How isolating it is see others out on their miles, Why tucked safely in their pocket and wondering why not me?

I wish I had answer or a direction of some kind. I keep showing up but it isn’t enough. I lean on my coach and my friends but it isn’t enough. Everyone needs a Why and mine is gone. It happened slowly but with certainty. Just gone.