Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thank you Mother Nature

For the past couple days, I have been doubting my commitment to my upcoming marathon training. I was looking over a possible training plan and it simply made me tired instead of excited. (Training plans usually make me excited about the possibilities!) Then I looked at how quickly my boys are growing, how fast time is going and wondering if this is the right thing at this time.  I ran a marathon in September, I proved to myself that I could. Do I really need to run another one? Part of me says no, what else do I have to prove; while another part of me says, YES! I know I can run much faster than 4:57!

Jeff and I had a long conversation about it and he is such a wonderfully loving, supportive husband. However, he refuses to give me the answer, instead saying it's my decision and he supports me no matter what my decision is. Some days I just wish someone else would tell me what to do. <sigh> He did ask me to take some time and think about it before making any decisions. Fair enough.

Today I met my friends, Jamie and Kate, at the metro park for a shorter run for them, then adding more miles at the end for myself. I mentioned that I was thinking this and Jamie asked the same question that Jeff did "why"? The answer came out that I have been having so much fun since the marathon in September, with no training plan, that I think I'm afraid to go back into the strict structure of another training plan. After the marathon, I was the one to decide when I ran and how many miles I ran. One week I'd run 18 miles and the next 32 miles. No rhyme or reason, simply based on the weather, my time available, what my friends were running so I had running partners, or what I felt like I should run based on my poor food choices! After a tough year of training, I LOVE the freedom!

Maybe I'm in the post holiday funk? We had so much going on in the month of December, lots of family came to visit us, lots of fun, now it's back to "normal" life. That could certainly be part of it.

After 4.25 miles, Jamie and Kate headed back to the parking lot, I turned on my music and quickly found my pace. Lots of thoughts going through my mind, trying to work everything out. Then around mile 6, Mother Nature helped me out.



THIS! This is part of the reason I run. Seeing and enjoying the beauty of the world, the beauty of a sunrise, reminding me that ANYTHING is possible.

The thought popped into my head....why CAN'T I continue to have fun while training for my marathon? I will still be running. I will still be running long miles. I will still be running with friends. Just because I'm following a training plan, doesn't mean the fun stops. It's simply a new challenge and I need to take the pressure off of myself. I've got 19 weeks until the marathon and a lot of things can change in 19 weeks. Maybe I'll meet and/or beat my "secret" time goal. Maybe I won't. As long as I am still having fun along the way, isn't that all that matters?

I finished up my 10.5 mile run feeling much better about everything. Running keeps me in shape, running clears my mind, running brings everything into clarity.

Why do you run? What does running do for you?

24 comments:

  1. i love this post.  keep the fun in your running...even when it gets tough!  beautiful pic!  gotta love those early morning/late evening runs.  nature is one of my motivations as well.  beautiful post! 

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  2. What great perspective on running! Keep it fun, training or not!

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  3. I've been sick all week and therefore am missing the third week in my Couch to 5K plan. I started overthinking and freaking out like I wasn't going to be able to handle another 13.1 miles on May 20th. This post brought me back to earth. Let's keep each other going, okay?!

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  4. Great post.  Amazing how just being out in it can make you feel.  

    The first two weeks of my planned marathon training happened to be over Christmas break.  I skipped the training plan and ran several times with Run DMC.  I can only describe it as indulgent but beyond that I had my two highest mile weeks of my life.  The plan will survive.
    Whey do I run, what does running do for you?
    Keeps me sane, lets me eat the garbage I do, gives me opportunity to find deer on a trail with the moon on one side of me and the sun on the other, makes my co-works wonder when it's 25° and I'm heading out the door at lunch and smiling, it lets me meet people I never would otherwise.  Running tempts me, rewards me, makes me hurt, keeps me humble, helps me reach others and fills me with pride.  It makes me feel alive.

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  5. I've considered the point that training this time around won't be quite as exciting as the last time when every long run was a "first", but I've decided that it will be just as exciting because it's different. Different seasons, clothing(!), logistics to work out...it will be every bit as exciting as it was last time and i can't wait to share it with you again!

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  6. Thanks, Melanie! RunDMC I know will be a big help to keeping the fun in my running! 

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  7. Definitely, Alicia! We will keep each other on track for May 20!

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  8. Thanks for a great post Anne. I feel the same way - you said it so beautifully. "Running keeps me in shape, running clears my mind, running brings everything into clarity". 

    Here's to keeping fun in your running. :-))))

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  9. Very well said! Thank you! 

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  10. Thanks Roz! Our #rundates have definitely helped, too. 

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  11. You are correct! And most importantly, we will be out there TOGETHER! At least, for the long runs :) Thank you BRF!

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  12. I like this post.  It's so easy to doubt training plans and goals etc. but you're right, there's really no reason it can't be fun too.  I like it when MN gives you those little things to make you feel good again.

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  13. Awesome post and yes you can still enjoy running we training! Don't be strict about it. Listen to your body and modify. :)

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  14. I can totally relate. The runs that follow a marathon feel so liberating. You can run as much as you feel like without worrying about distance and pace. I've had doubts too about whether or not I should run another, but I know come race day I'll regret not running if I don't. Good luck with your training!

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  15. What a wonderful post...I so often feel the same way..have the same doubts and feel as grateful for mother nature as you. Thank you for sharing. 

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  16. You're going to be great!  Believe in yourself and it will all come together.

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  17. I can totally relate to your doubts. I think your passion for running will carry you through! Sometimes a training schedule can be comforting but overwhelming at the same time. Just take one day at a time. It is nice to go into this training cycle knowing you can handle the training and the race itself. I am looking forward to following your journey!

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  18. Thanks, Jeannie! Definitely going in with a different mindset this time. Last time, I was so afraid to change anything since it was my first marathon. Will be much more fun this time!

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  19. Thanks, Heather!

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  20. Thanks, Lisa! Always makes me feel better when I hear other runners feel the same way. We're all in this together, right?!

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  21. Thank you! 

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  22. Beautiful picture! Loooove that you figured this out on a run!  Running is such a great thing! I decide on things out there, get ideas and just think! Am able to focus out there while I enjoy something I feel I am good at and stay in shape!

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  23. Thanks, Jenny! Funny, just published a new post about training schedules. Wonder what's on my mind?? :)

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  24. Thank you! Running IS Great!

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