This is nothing remarkable, but I ran 5 miles this morning. It wasn’t an awe-inspiring performance; it was just a nice run with a good friend. And you know, it just felt great to be out there running and conversing and well, to simply say it, to just be doing it.
I know running can become all wrapped up in faster times, longer distances, more mileage — in other words, performance. In fact, I think sometimes it’s easy to get blindsided by that side of running. Sure, racing is great and can be a lot of fun, but what IF that’s the only reason you ran? What if faster times were your sole or main inspiration?
A lot of running magazines and articles are filled with advice on setting PRs (personal records), increasing mileage and the plans you can follow to do just that. But you know, time is not your friend. Time is just the opposite. If you serve it, “worship it,” it will ultimately destroy your enjoyment in running.
Harsh words? Maybe. But let’s look at time briefly. If your running life revolves around beating a PR in whatever distance you’re racing, the energy, focus and training continually become more and more intense as you HAVE to keep improving to continue to beat PRs. Think about it . . . the more intense training and racing become, the more stressful they are. The more stressful the less fun (some stress is good, but there’s a tilt point). The more stressful and less fun it is, the more it’s like work. The more it’s like work, the less eager you are to run. The less eager you are run, the less you run.
I have a saying: sacrifice perishes in the face of love. You see, people willing sacrifice for the things/people they love . . . , but take the love out and the sacrifice becomes incredibly costly/difficult.
Now, let’s add into that the thought of what happens when you serve your “time god” faithfully, but then it doesn’t result in a PR or you “flop” miserably in a race . . . or two? Hmmm. Now where’s your motivation?
Understand, I’m not saying that going out to set a PR is wrong – there’s nothing wrong with that. Having a race you’re wanting to do well in can be a great motivator and honestly, it is kind of fun to try out a new running plan to see what kind of results you get.
BUT if faster times are the only/main reason you run/train, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Sooner or later, that time you’ve been chasing, suddenly stops and you run face first into some cold, hard reality. The stress, the intensity, the work . . . it’s no longer worth it – it’s NOT fun. And your running career dies with that “ah-ha” moment (that you brought upon yourself).
So, I encourage you to continue to go out and train for races and, if you want to, pick some that you really want to focus on and work hard to do your best in it, but make sure you also take time to simply enjoy the gift of running.
Back to where this all started. It was nothing remarkable, but I ran 5 miles this morning . . . a relatively short distance for me. But for most people in the general public, it would be far beyond their capabilities, yet I ran it with ease, pushing a little here, easing up a little there, and it was fun and relaxing . . . .
So, on second thought, perhaps my run this morning was quite remarkable! : )
Have an awesome (and remarkably fun) run today!
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