Sacrifice isn’t the first thing i think of when i think of running but it’s definitely always in the back of my mind. I don’t, however, think of sacrifice as a negative word. It’s just something that comes with the territory. I have plenty of friends who talk about how they had to “sacrifice” so many things when they had children and some of these friends say it like it’s a negative thing but can’t it just be a decision? You wanted kids and therefore you knew you would have to make some sacrifices. You want to be a runner so you know you’ll have to make some sacrifices. It certainly doesn’t mean these sacrifices will always be easy but they’re typically things that, if done, will make the end result a little more enjoyable.
I’m certainly no competitive runner but i still know that it takes many sacrifices to be a runner, period. For the most part: I only have 1 beer on friday nights (maybe 2). I make sure i’m home at a decent time on nights before a run. I make sure at least 90% of my liquids come from water. I wake up on saturday’s at 6 am when i would much rather sleep in with georgia. I try to do core work even when i don’t want to. I drink Accelerade before bed (before super long runs) when i would rather be drinking a glass of wine. I run outside in the cold. I run outside in the heat. I get up on monday’s no matter how tired i am.
I don’t really see these things as sacrifices though. I think they’re just ways of life. They’re decisions. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always wiggle room and times when exceptions need to be made. I’m no party pooper and always up for having some fun. There have been plenty of times when i’ve gone to a concert or party the night before a run – i still get up and run; i just usually suffer a bit more than other times. I’m fine with this for myself every now and then but i really thrive off of the discipline that running gives me. There are even those times that i skip a run or workout (gasp!) but i usually regret it so much that i wish i had just done it.
One of the biggest “sacrifices” in my recent memory is when i needed to run 15 miles but was going to be in LA for my sisters wedding. I knew i would have no time the day before or day of the wedding so i had no choice but to do it the day i got there. I woke in memphis at 5:30 am, ran 6 miles with julie at 6 am, flew to LA, got to the hotel at 2 pm, ate pop-tarts and headed out for a 9 mile run at 3 pm. It was tough and, yes, i missed 2 hours of drinks on the roof but, seriously?! I still went out that night, managed to wear heels, had cocktails with the wedding party and still stayed true to my running.
A quote i shared this week is, “Running has taken me in, and continues to comfort, heal and challenge me in all kinds of magical ways. I am not a ‘good runner’ because i am me. I am a ‘good me’ because i am a runner.” I really love this quote. I can really relate. I think i am a much better me when i run- it keeps me accountable, disciplined, relaxed…it just works.