To 5K Or Not To 5K

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”
-Oprah Winfrey

This is true on so many levels, but it doesn’t necessarily pertain just to running.

Trying to get Charmed Running off the ground has almost been as stressful as my recent running performances. I’m not sure which has been more difficult. One is clearly more mental, and the other more physical.

After running Farmington Dew Days this past weekend, I can honestly say that these short distances are killing me. And I’m not quite sure what I’m trying to prove while running them except that I can be bad ass when I want to be, yet, I don’t know how smart that is.

Right now, I’m blessed with good health. My physical condition remains questionable, as I find that if I don’t take the time to foam roll, massage, and self treat, running would become an impossibility.

And it would seem the harder I run, the worse I feel.

It is odd that I find the longer distances more enjoyable. I suppose this is because I have to take it slower, ultimately, and the slower I start, the more I have in the tank for later. With the short distances, it is just a constant push, which leads to a soreness that I’m not used to feeling anymore.

I’m not so sure what this says for my running future. I will not say that I’m done with running the short distance, but I am done with racing the short distance. It is too hard on my body. And I don’t have anything to prove anymore.

Smiling despite a hard run.

My PR for a 5K is 21:21. My PR for a 4-miler is 28:13. My PR for a 10K is 43:53. I’ll live with these numbers forever. I don’t think it is worth it to push myself to a point to try and beat them well into my 50s.

I’m OK with that. Honestly. I’ve been fortunate to find running at all, and to have achieved those numbers well into my 40s has been a blessing. It has been fun to run fast. But I’m done with it.

For now, I’d like to just continue to run…period. Let’s cut out the competition I insist on having with myself. It is futile. And in the end, I’ll just end up disappointed with my performance if I continue to be so anal about it.

Training for, and running a marathon is what I’m enjoying the most right now. There is something solitary about it. The hours I spend training, the hours I spend during the event. It is spiritually cleansing. It is emotionally healing. It can be the worst thing in the world, but at the same time, it can be the best.

I can still pull a Boston qualifier out of my hat, and for that I’m grateful. It proves that I still have some juice in me that doesn’t need too much squeezing to release. How could I possibly complain? Some runners spend years attempting to achieve the coveted Boston qualifier.

As I sit here writing this blog post, Charmed Running is vending at a rather slow event, so I’ve had time to think. The run this morning here at the Dew Days has exhausted me. My quads ache, my chest feels heavy, and my eyelids are droopy. I’m exhausted, fatigued, and would rather be anywhere but here. This is not why I run.

Charmed Running is my baby. My passion for creating shoe charms and other items for runners like me goes above and beyond the actual running part of it. Having pride and faith in what you can do and accomplish day in and day out is so freaking important. Patting yourself on the back and standing behind your decisions is not easy. I’m grateful to be able to help those in the same predicament as me.

If I had to quit running tomorrow, I’d still look back and be grateful for all that I have been able to accomplish. Being able to pass that feeling on to other runners is immeasurable. Charmed Running allows me to do just that.

After all, everyone deserves to experience that feeling of accomplishment, even if it is fleeting. Everyone deserves a pat on the back, even if it has to come from a shoe charm.

Everyone deserves the chance to release their inner superhero.

What do you want your shoe charm to say to the world? What would it need to say to inspire you?

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