Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh So Serious.

Do you have a tendency to take running too seriously?  I do at times.  I read something via #RunChat yesterday, I believe, about "Hare Envy".  Boy, I can relate to that.  If I'm understanding this correctly, hare envy happens when someone seems to be so easily whipping out the speedy miles while you seem to be left in the dust.  You wish you could zip by, but you're working hard to maintain the pace you're at now.  This happens a lot to me when I'm running my long runs at North Park. 

Social media (Twitter, Facebook, DailyMile, etc) tends to bring this to the forefront.  Someone will happily report that they just ran a "simple" "easy" "slow" run of like 10 miles at an 7-8 minute mile pace.  Admittedly, while I'm happy for their accomplishment, there's times (particularly after a tough run of my own) where I'll scoff "that's slow? what do these people think about my slow 9-10 m/m paces?".  I don't want to diminish their hard work, but at the same time it is easy to get sucked into the "what's wrong with me" frame of mind. 

I know it is difficult, but I personally try to keep these thought patterns to a minimum.  I have to remind myself that I am doing this for fun and fitness.  I'm not, and will never be, an elite athlete.  I'm well past my prime of Olympic Trial possibilities.  Running, when I'm not pressuring myself about my times or my paces or any of the other technical aspects thereof, is incredibly enlightening, relaxing, and just an amazing personal feat.  Do I want to win Age group awards?  Sure!  Would I like to Boston Qualify?  Yes, of course!  Would I like to run a sub-20 5K or a 1:40 HM?  Heck yeah, that'd be awesome!  But these things will likely not happen and that's ok.  I want to be one of these older folks I see still cranking out the miles, no matter how slow, around the park with a huge grin on their faces saying hi to everyone who passes.  I want to keep my body in great shape so that I have a long happy life to enjoy with my family.  These are the things that mean more to me than trying to run 100 miles a week and putting tons of pressure on myself to perform when I just want to have fun and stay fit.  Honestly, I'm too old to do things that don't provide enjoyment.  That's what work is for... and I certainly am not getting paid to run!  I'm aware that everyone has different goals, and good for them!  I'll just keep reminding myself of why I am doing this and encourage everyone else to do the same.

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