^^Me after I️ finished my first half marathon. Goal wasn’t to only finish, but finish in under 2 hours, and I️ did, in 1 hr 59 min. ^^
I️ was 21 when I️ really got bit by the running bug. It was a time that I️ was slowly but surely coming out from my “eating disorder” but another demon was taking it’s place. A demon, that was already there, this time though, running its course. The demon, “Compulsive Exercise”. I️ was a good runner(had 2 races, a 4 miler and 5 miler under my belt) and then started half marathon training(after some recommendations) at a running store called, “Fleet Feet” who were absolutely fabulous!
I’d workout in the morning doing the Beachbody Insanity program WHILE half marathon training for my first half. A little later down the road, I’d workout in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Now, that I️ look back at it, it honestly makes me sick. The way I’d run my body through the mill of going, going, going. I️ got seriously addicted to exercise. Running, was one of my biggest addictions! And, when you’re OCD(obsessive compulsive disorder) it already doesn’t help any better.
I️ ran 34 RACES in 2 YEARS. Yes, 2 YEARS. They consisted of, 2 full marathons, 8-11 half marathons, 5ks, 8ks, and 10ks. I️ started to get injury after injury. One time, the doctor that I️ had a blood clot(turned out to be a pulled muscle) behind my knee and told me to take it easy, I️ didn’t, I️ went straight to CrossFit and did a workout. Stupid. So, stupid. I️ also ran 16 miles, limping, and the next day, I️ could barely move. I️ ended up with a 6 month stress fracture(most painful experience probably in my life) and yet, still went hard by pool running and strength training. I️ got injured on my right leg more than my left(only once on my left and it was IT Band problems) than I️ could count. I’ve probably had 5-6 injuries, give or take during the 3-4 years of my love for running.
Injuries weren’t the only thing that was not going to stop me from running, instead of my church day of rest, I’d go run before church. I’d even run a race before church. I️ remember missing going to the vet to be there when my old family/childhood dog had to be put down because I️ was at a race. I️ still regret that when the memory crosses my mind.
^^Me after running my 2nd half in 2 hours and 3 mins on a very hilly course^^
I️ was OBSESSED, I’d eat, drink, sleep, and read all about running! Heck, I️ remember going for a walk during lunch break, in my work clothes, and run and came back hot and sweaty. Let’s just say my manager wasn’t to happy. I️ even ran two half marathons on back to back weekends. Ran one 5k the day after a half marathon too!
After a while though, the injuries were getting tiring, to the point of my dad getting tired of all the medical bills and almost told me to back off from running.
One morning, during my personal devotion time, I️ came across this verse…
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.” Exodus 20:8-11
I️ felt convicted to give up racing on Saturdays(My Sabbath; Seventh-Day Adventist) and so I️ did. No human convicted me. God did. Personally.
I️ then started seeing running as a drug, a god in a way, and I️ knew, it had to stop. I️ couldn’t do it alone though. I️ prayed to God to take my passion and my desire to run away. A few days later, I️ took down all of my racing bibs in my bedroom, threw away all of my running magazines, and took my running stickers off of my car.
One day, I️ went to go run, planning to train for a 50k and my body/brain refused to even finish the first mile or so. I️ wanted to stop, fall to my knees, and break down in tears. Yes, it sounds a bit dramatic, but that’s seriously how I️ felt. I️ went home, cried to dad and cried at work about it. Runner’s burnout hit me. HARD.
Now, two years later since my runner’s burnout, my love for running isn’t really there as much anymore. Yes, I’ve ran maybe 3-4 races since my burnout but the desire is just, blah.
My compulsive exercise though, is still there at times(not near as bad as before, with God in control), and right now, I’m still working on that. I️ did not know it was part of an eating disorder until recently. That’ll be for a later post though.
Until then, it goes to show, we all have inner demons. Running, was my inner demon, my love, passion, and addiction.
I️ did realize that myself though, God helped me realize that. Running, was starting to be first in front of him, Satan knew what he was doing for sure.
I’m not saying running is bad though, I’m just saying to be careful how you use the “drug”. I️ don’t know if I’ll ever get back into running that hardcore again and if I️ do, Lord help me. Lol. It’ll always be there if/when I️ go back to it. Sometimes, on occasions, I️ do run. Not near as much as before though, it’s rare. And, I’m okay with that.
I’m just thankful, for my wonderful counselor to get me through.