I've mentioned a lot recently that I no longer felt that I loved running. I've been long battling, inwardly, with the notion that I need to run to maintain physical health, but that mentally, it's draining.
Several weeks ago I piled all of my running clothes into a trash bag. I put it in the garage and declared myself, officially, an ex runner. This was the result of so many frustrations that I've blogged about. The heat. The lack of time. The slow shoulder healing. The ozone. These were worse than excuses. All of these were legitimate reasons for me to hate running. My last race seemed to be a waste of $50 and a few hours. Every run was just another job, it wasn't fun.
I was done.
Then the weather cooled. I stepped outside one Friday and it was raining. Something that hasn't happened here, in Texas, for months. All of a sudden I had the feeling to GO. And so I went. That run felt so incredible, that I extended it into a longer course than orginially anticipated. The next morning, I practically jumped out of bed in order to get back out for another run. The feeling was back. The desire, the want....the need because I love it...was back.
But I changed a few things...
Whereas I have always, for the last three years, run with my Garmin, I ditched it. Running with a Garmin is important when training for a distance, or attempting to lower your pace. But it makes running seem like work, not fun. When I run with a Garmin, I consistently check my distance. "How far have I gone so far...how much further will I go" I also check my pace, obsessing that I'm either going too fast or am crawling today and really need to pick it up.
My ipod was my best friend through marathon training. I would not have made it through those hundreds of miles had I not been able to listen to my 3 hour long play list, filled with everyone from Ice T, The Beatles, Wanda Sykes, Eminem, Moby, and Pink Floyd. But I had listened to that play list for....hundreds (maybe thousands) of miles. So instead, I ditched it. Not really meaning to, I picked up my daughter's iTouch and ran, listening to her music. Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Adele...Britney...funny, silly stuff that makes you want to move!
The end result is that I now run to have F U N. I'm not training for anything. If I want to run, I run. If my shoulder hurts, I don't. Some days I feel like running twice a day, and so I do it. If I feel good I run 4. If not, I run 2. There's no plan. There's no obsessing.
There's a girl...throwing on her sneakers, putting her baby in the stroller, and having fun...