Originally posted on: January 12, 2015
I saw this quote last night and it made me stop and think - for a long while.
“Today, I run for pure, absolute joy.” ― Lopez Lomong
When was the last time that we really did that?
I don't know about you, but it is has been a while for me and it was more than likely a run with Bennie.
It seems that over the last few years running has become more about:
- how far
- how fast
- specific training
- every run having a goal and having to meet that goal
- what kind of graphs am I making
- what are my splits
- can I catch and pass that guy/gal
- why does my foot, knee, hamstring or whatever hurt
- can I run through whatever hurts
- what part of the training cycle am I in
- what race am I preparing for
- which shoes do I wear
- and so on
Are these bits and pieces, the sum of my running and what I want my running to be or are they the artificial stuff I have added to my running?
Is this the stuff that I really want or need to be the focus of my running as a middle of the pack runner, who does not make my living running?
Are these things what I really think about when I run or do I think more like this:
“The thoughts that occur to me while I’m running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky always. The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky.” ― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Most of the time, I do not remember what I think about when I run, because I think about so many things and the more I think about it, what Murakami says is true.
Lately - it seems when I am done with my run, instead of focusing on what I accomplished, what I saw or enjoyed, I immediately plug my watch into my computer, look at the stats, focus on what I didn't do or need to do better/differently, how I, my electronics, clothes and shoes performed.
Go back and read many of my daily running log entries, what is missing?
I think you know the answer.
What happened to enjoying the run, because I got to run.
Oh, I know that I still want to improve my times and be competitive in races, but at the same time by focusing so much on what I need to do on each run as a part of that day's training run goal or plan, the gear I am using, etc. - am I missing the most important part of running?
The simple answer is yes.
Which means that I have a choice
do things differently
continue down this road that I am on
For me I need to do some thing differently.
I think I will start by trying an experiment this week and maybe longer if I am liking the results...put away the GPS devices. Which means no splits, no graphs, no auto-adding to 4-5 online runlogs, no automatic mileage down to 2 decimal points and all the groovy data points/information that our GPS devices give us.
I will go back to just using my Timex and spreadsheet log for the next week or so.
Will this be enough to recapture the joys of simply running?
I do not know if this change will make a difference or if I will react like an addict and withdrawal problems of not being able to see the data about my runs that I have accustomed to.
We will see, until then I leave you with this quote.
“For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight.” ― George Sheehan
Today, I will go out and attempt to find the joy in my runs again.
How about you, do you enjoy your runs or do you think of running as training for something or and means to an end.
Thank you for reading and being patient with a cantankerous old fart’s blathering and babbling on about the changes that I am going through and think about as I get older and the fun that I am having as a part of this process.