Originally posted on: May 22, 2013
Runners are often complex and misunderstood creatures by those around us and yes...even ourselves at times.
We have so many conflicting emotions, thoughts and feelings about our chosen sport, that it seems to others that we are more than just a little WACKED!
Personally, I probably qualify for several diagnoses in the DSM-IV or V or whatever version they are on now, just because I am a runner, but that is another story and post that I will never write about, because I don't want to seem to trivialize the seriousness of the nature of the what is in that book.
For the past three years (Yeah, I know...butt), there are a couple of different running personalities competing for dominance, with wildly conflicting ideas about what running is and what it means to be a runner.
- Ultra Competitive, finishing well in the race or age group is important
- Has major goals and sub goals to get to those major
- Setting up training plans 3-6 months in advance
- Every run has has a specific reason for being part of the "plan"
- Sticking pretty much to the plan
- Tracking mileage/time religiously down to nearest tenth or hundredth of a mile
- Racing every couple of weeks
- Only runs on the track and roads - the predictability
- Can't find the right shoe
- Just a little prissy
- Push to run faster, no time to stop and take pictures
- Embraces pain and discomfort to achieve goal times
- Runs through injuries
- Almost all running photos show a grimace
- Smiles and laughs a lot,
- No pressure about who finishes where
- Run according to feel, runs hard when feeling like
- Time/speed doesn't really matter
- Free spirited
- Racing occasionally, pushes hard during the race, but really focused on social aspect
- Prefers trails and surprises around the corner
- Distance are measured to "or so" is close enough
- Mud, dirt, rain are cool
- Stops and smells the roses and has a full photo album from many runs
- Did I say Smiles a lot
- Only goal is to just run and be in the run
- The running shoe shoes you run in tend to be whatever is on sale locally and not so worried about what they brand they are and what their specific use is supposed to be
There is nothing wrong with being either runner or a combination of the two lists because in reality most of us fall somewhere along the continuum of these two extremes. We have traits from both lists and often go back and forth between the two, dependent upon if we are or are not training for a specific event, race or even who we are running with.
Whenever I get too deeply back into the Runner #1 mentality (I go back and forth on this one like a pinata) the more uncomfortable I become. I find that I miss the freedom and spontaneity that I enjoyed over the years when I trained with more of Runner #2's perspective.
- How do or how can I resolve the my intense dislike for structured training in my running and the ultra competitive perspective that I tend to get when I train in that manner?
- Can I incorporate a more relaxed and enjoyable perspective, while still putting myself in a position to achieve my faster pace goals.
- Is there a way to merge the two runners described above or do I just have to suck it up , do the structured training program, be the more competitive Harold
- Or just slide quietly along the scale to find where that damn moving target that seems to be my running stops and attempt to stay around there instead of artificially forcing the issue.