Running Should be an Adventure

by Sara on October 31, 2014

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After I posted about wondering should running be about more fun, and less serious, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how running fits into the rest of my life.  Running is my hobby, and although I love it very much and it takes up a great deal of my time it is not my whole life.  I have a job that I love, I have a house that is constantly undergoing at least 5 unfinished projects, not to mention a husband who I love spending time and sometimes its nice to do neither of those things.  Running is not my job.  I’m never going to be an olympian, or win marathons, and although I have some pretty intense goals that I recognize take a lot of dedication I don’t want to be that girl that can’t have any fun.

So why do I take myself so serious sometimes?

It’s just my personality.  I’m was always the one in group projects who wanted to focus on the task at hand and get it done, not joke around and have a good time.  When it comes to training for a race I always take it very seriously, plan every workout to make sure it fits into my schedule and when it comes time to do the workout, it’s nail the paces or nothing.

Last week I said to Ralph, “Let’s go into Philly and run the bridge to get ready for next week’s race.”  {by the way that bridge kicked my ass – I am a little terrified for Sunday}  And while we’re at it, let’s run through the city and check out the new extension to the running path by the river.  We prepped for the long run the same way we usually do, coffee & toast followed by, “what color compression socks are you going to wear?” and, “Should I wear a jacket? Are you wearing a jacket? Did you charge your watch?” and lastly a walk for Wesley.  Whenever we get ready the morning of a race it feels like an adventure, but whenever we get ready the morning of a long run it feels serious.  I am difficult to deal with because I take it so seriously, I don’t like talking about much because I try to get into “serious runner mode” which drives Ralph crazy.  In my defense it’s something I am working on, but goes back to when I first started running and needing to put myself into a more serious mindset or I was more likely to quit if things got too hard.

Last Sunday felt more like an adventure and I kind of liked it.  I carried my phone and took a bunch of pictures.  We stopped over a dozen times for photo ops, stop lights, a trip back to the car to stash our jackets, more stop lights, a water fountain that ended up not working, and more photos.  We laughed.  We people watched.  We didn’t care about our pace, and wouldn’t you believe it, just as Dave had told me weeks ago, when we let go of all the seriousness we actually ran pretty fast.

So that got me to thinking as we were driving home, sipping on chocolate milk and enjoying our Wawa breakfast sandwiches, why can’t more of our long runs be an adventure.  Sure there are times in life when running or work or whatever you are doing are head-down-grind-it-out type of situations.  Speed work for one, or work deadlines for another, but what about the rest of the time?  Why can’t it be a, “Where should we go today?” type of situation?  Why should we all plod along the same out and back route, day after day, week after week, month after month until we are burnt out and bored and wondering when is winter going to come so we can all start saying, “oh you know it’s so cold I’m just going to take the winter off from running.”

What fun is that?  Some of the runs I enjoy the most are the ones that aren’t basic.  Sure it’s crazy to go out and run in the pouring rain but you remember it.  I will always remember running in Central Park, climbing hills in Lancaster after a crazy night with friends, or just taking my camera along on a run and stopping to snap pictures if I saw something interesting.  Maybe running as a giant pumpkin is not the most aerodynamic option, but it sure was fun, and I definitely won’t forget it.

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So let’s have more running adventures and let’s make more running memories.

Where is your next running adventure going to take you?

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