Saturday, May 03, 2008


Thinking back to my recent training runs and comparing them to the half marathon last weekend, I couldn't help but wonder why the race had gone pretty well. I was happy with it. I hadn't been happy with my training runs. Only one, I felt, had gone well enough to get me by. This week, I think I finally figured it out, like a lightbulb going off or one of those "you could have had a V8" moments.
I had fun at the race. My training runs hadn't been fun, and part of that was because I hadn't let myself have fun. I think I struggled so much last year the fun just got sucked out of me. I totally lost the point of why I run or do races.
And then another thing happened yesterday, when I ran into a woman from the running club. I congratulated her on her Boston finish. She said she was happier with her time this year than last, but it was going to "cost" her in the 25k next weekend. "I just know I'm not going to have a good race next weekend." I said to her that having just run Boston, her time in the 25k would be proportionate to her ability and recovery, and not to worry so much.
Worry has been my middle name the last year or so. I've worried about being slower; I've worried about others being faster, mainly in the age group; I've worried about not being able to do it any more. What I should have been doing was worrying about why I wasn't having fun.
All I could think of today on my run was all the "fun" I used to have training, before training became a chore. But it was fun because I ran with others, so training became secondary to having a good time. Again, I have been so consumed with not being fast enough, I haven't allowed myself to run with anyone any more. And, unfortunately, I am pretty slow, so it would be hard to find too many people to run with anyway. So then, how will I have fun with my running again?
The thought occurred to me that I should be entering races and using them for my training runs, instead of being afraid because I think I'm too slow. That way, I'll have lots of company and hopefully will have some fun with my workouts again.
So what do you think? Good idea?


Flo said...

Vicki, you are so right. I've discovered that I have got to keep the fun in things or it all falls apart for me. For my runs, which I do alone, I take scenic paths and look at things as I run. I stop and say hi to the horses. I look over the bridge at the fish in the rivers. I stop and look at blooming flowers. I find that by making my run interesting, I end up running faster. I also no longer track my time or pace while I run, only my HR. It works for me :)

bunnygirl said...

There's not much point doing it if you're not enjoying it. Relax and have fun. It's not like you're an Olympic-caliber contender and this is your career. Have fun with it!

Lily on the Road said...

Holy doodle, I thought I was the only one who had the middle name worry... I always say to my friends, "I worry 'cause that's what I do best"....I think it is just our age....hahahaha

It is fun with a group...but sometimes I do enjoy just being on my own, when I need time to reflect.

I'm with Flow, I take my camera and see my town as a vacationer would see it, you'd be surprised what's out there! And what we take for granted.

Tomorrow is 32K, I'm the group leader for the people who plan on runner their marathon in 5 hours...should be fun, I'll let you know! hope you enjoy your weekend....

Anne said...

Great idea, Vicki. I wish more people had similar V8 moments. Unless you're trying to earn a living off running, why shouldn't it be fun?

Last year at this time I ran one of the largest 8ks in the country. I ran it in costume and used my married name (I go by my maiden name). Guess what? I was so relaxed and having fun that I ran really well and finished 9th in my age group -- out of something like 900 women in that division. Sometimes fun can be just what the doctor ordered -- or juice aisle, as the case may be.

cindy said...

Perfect solution, Vickie! Why do something if you're not enjoying it, right?

Worry, Be Gone!!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Of course, you already know how I feel about this subject. I am definately in the camp that believes having fun is the way to go. There really is no reason to be out there and be miserable or to beat yourself up when things don't go as you expect. Plus I am convinced you waste energy worrying and fretting.

I wish you many happy FUN runs. :)

Running Knitter said...

As someone who is usually in the back of the pack, I say just get out there and enjoy it!

jahowie said...

That is a very good idea. I hope that you can find the joy in it again. I'd run with you anytime. ;-)

jeanne said...

I think that's a great plan. I'm also an incessant worrier, and it keeps me from doing things and from having fun.

Sounds like you are on the right path to recovery!

See Zanne Run said...

you know i am all about the fun right now. i couldn't really understand what my coach meant when he would tell me not to worry "its just running, it supposed to be fun" - cause i didn't see the fun in it anymore - it was all about the pace, the workout, the qualifying ... i totally lost the sense of fun. i think once you just decide to relax and let go & just make it fun, you'll see that its just a breath of fresh air - its like lifting a little weight off your shoulders - which always makes running a bit easier!

have fun having fun!!!