Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back to Basics

I have taken two full rest days.  Two days of sheer laziness.  I actually prefer to call it relaxation.  It was nice but I am more than ready to get back at it.  I miss running already.

On Sunday, back at the hotel in Santa Barbara, Ang went out for a morning run.  I hung around the room for awhile and eventually ventured out to get us some breakfast.  On my way back, I saw her cruising down the street, clearly having a great run.  She was running with the ocean to her right and sunshine enveloping her entire body.  The air was crisp and cool -- perfect for running.  I was jealous.  She came back to  the hotel sweaty and glowing in that post-run bliss that I so often write about.  I was right; she had a great run.  She isn't training for anything right now so every run is for fun.  She goes for as long as she wants, as far or as near as she wishes, and stops when she feels done.  After running a marathon, this sounded like the best possible idea.

What running looks like in Santa Barbara
 I started wondering why I don't just run for fun more often.  I always seem to be training for one thing or another.  And yes, I love training plans.  I love checking off workouts and I genuinely enjoy speed work and tempo runs.  I thrive off of the structure.  Structure is something I only enjoy when it comes to running; otherwise, I despise it.  While my running self is Type A, the rest of me is definitely not.  But maybe sometimes I should let my free spirit carry over to my running.  I could afford to let loose on my runs from time to time.  Not every run has to come with expectations.

I am still thinking about how joyful Angela appeared after her run.  I want that feeling right now.  I want to run care free with no plan and no agenda.  Just RUN.

Training is great.  It is necessary and important for running races and getting faster.  However, it is equally important to experience and appreciate the true essence of running.

Sometimes, we need to take it back to basics.

Leave the watch at home.
Pay attention to the smell of the outdoors.
Feel the breeze on your face.
Notice the squirrels in your path.
Forget about pace and mileage.
Trade your grimace for a smile.
Feel the joy that is running.  

We run for so many reasons, but at the heart of running is a sense of calm, joyful satisfaction.  I never, ever want to lose that. I may not be ready to run today, but when I hit the trails again, I know it is going to be meditative and awesome. 

45 comments:

  1. Ah... running for the joy of running is THE BEST. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Funny...I was thinking the same thing! I'm so tired from training and have welcomed taper with open arms. A run just to run sounds blissful :)

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  3. Completely agree; I was contemplating this a few weeks ago after a nightmare time training and a dissappointing marathon. I am happiest in my running when I don't have any running plans or obligations, and I can run because I love it and not because I have to.

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  4. I totally recognize that feeling of jealousy when you see a runner. It always makes me want to go running too. I never train for anything, but I run five times a week, at least 5K. On Sundays I do a long run. My longest run was 21K.

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  5. i love it. Yes, take a step back. FOcus on what you can do now, simply your runs!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love running for the joy of running! I am definitely too laid back of a runner though. It took me way too long to get a GPS watch and actually start tracking some workouts. I really should train faster, do intervals, speed training, track workouts and all that... but it's just not as fun! But seriously, I should, I'd probably see a nice improvement on my time!

    ReplyDelete
  7. by the way, I LOVE your description of Angela running! It's a beautiful thing, to bask in the glow of post-run glory. Fresh faced and happy :)

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  8. I totally agree and I think awareness is the first step there - on the road to running for you. For many of us, beginning running leads to improvement and we get hungry - for faster times, for BQs - for whatever it is we can do. But we get caught up in it and forget why we started doing this. So your awareness is great.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've thought the same thing before, why do I need this crazy training plan when everything else I do is flying by the seat of my pants? I don't even plan meals in advance, and I have to feed six people every day. Part of it is that I'm afraid that if I give up training for a goal, I will let running slip away from me. And the other part is that I'm super competitive, so I love getting faster and faster, which training plans help to accomplish.

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  10. LOVED reading your thoughts from the Santa Barbara marathon... especially the one about GETTING to do this. I love this post too because I really want to do more fun running too! It is good for the soul:)

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