Last week, I had grand plans to write yoga posts every Monday for the foreseeable future. And then I had a thought and those plans changed. Oh, well. The yoga posts will still happen soon. Promise.
Given that I’ve only run two races ever, the title of this post is probably not a shock to you. But as a goal-getter, every single time I see a race happening in my vicinity, I’m tempted to sign up. Obviously, I don’t do it, but I do leave the tab open on my computer until the registration closes. All those entry fees would pile up fast – as would the race T-shirts and medals and swag I really don’t need.
Training for races is fun. I adore the feeling of progress when you run a little farther or faster than before. It’s intensely satisfying to crush a hard run you weren’t super excited about. It’s gratifying to break down your own mental barriers and realize exactly what you are capable of.
Races are also fun; you’re surrounded with a ton of inspiring people who don’t think you’re crazy for loving to run. The camaraderie is incredible. Races make you feel accomplished; you worked hard for something and did it.
But I don’t run for races, and I was reminded of that this weekend.
I have run exactly four times since Disney. Two times were somewhere in the ballpark of 4 miles, once was around 6 miles, and this last one, I’d guesstimate 5. I’ve been easing back the intensity of my workouts and trying to rest up my hip, but everything has been feeling good lately, and I needed a run.
Saturday morning was beautiful, and after I slept in, it felt like perfect running time. I maybe should have aimed “low” and done 5k, but I wanted to actually have some time along the lake. It takes almost two miles to get to the lake, so a longer one was in store.
How out of running shape can I really be? I bet I can just run the 8 miles to Trader Joe’s, if I go kinda slow.
LOL. Nope. I was about .75 miles in when I became thoroughly convinced that I’d never be able to run again. Yes, I’m melodramatic. But in all seriousness, running is hard.
So, I plopped down on the curb, pretty much in tears, and called my mom. Adultish, remember? She kindly reminded me that I hadn’t run at all for two weeks, that it’s okay to walk, and that I didn’t need to be speedy. After we hung up, I wiped off my tears, assured the nearby construction worker who was concerned about me that I was okay, turned on a podcast, and hopped up to run again.
When I needed to stop and walk a couple miles later, I checked to make sure no one was going to run me over, and I stopped and walked. I continued this way, enjoying myself and the other friendly runners and the sun and the conversations in my headphones for the next 7+ miles. Was it slow? Well, yeah.
But when the sun is out and the lake is shimmering on one side and the tall buildings are shimmering on the other, a slow run is a special kind of therapy.
And that’s why I run. It’s not for the races or the speed, though those are special little perks. Rather, it’s for the clear head and huge smile and slightly tired legs. It’s for the days that start in breakdowns and result in victories. It’s because it’s so damn fun.Races are fun, but they're not why I run. #fituniversity #FitFluential #SweatPink Click To Tweet
Do you set fitness goals or go with the flow?
Why do you run/work out?