I was perusing some blogs today when I came upon one particular one. It was all about getting out and doing a race for no reason other than to just get out there; no agenda, no expectations, just go have some fun. And like the proverbial ton of bricks it hit me, no wonder why I've been so depressed about my lack of running, it 's not just that I haven't been running, I haven't raced since October 30th of last year.
One of the first things I tell new runners is to go out and pick a race that they want to run. The reason is that this gives them a goal, something they can remember when they are sweating their asses off at 4:30 in the morning. It's the reward for all of the time and effort that you have put in to getting there. Basically, it's the fun part. Now I know some people are saying, "Racing, fun? What the..?" But it really is. You get to throw caution to the wind and just run run run as fast as you can while chasing down and fending off opponents. And some times they have prizes too!
So yes, I like to race. It is the only part of my life that I get competitive about and I can be super-serious when it comes to race time. At the end of the day though, whether it is a marathon I've trained months for, a fun local 5K, a run up a mountain, or an Ultra relay across New England, the one thing I have always tried to find in every race is the fun. Racing has always made me happy because of the challenge it brings; what else in our lives gives us the opportunity to see how far we can push our limits?
With that part of my life gone for so long now it is no wonder that I've been feeling so low. There are studies out there that have shown that running can be a form of addiction which could explain my attitude the last few months. Race time was always something that I could look forward to and get excited about but this morning I suddenly realized that not only have I lost anything to look forward to I've actually come to be depressed about the races I do have on the calendar. My last post is a shining example of this!
It's time for an attitude change. I am signed up for the Providence 5K in September and up until now my attitude towards it has been, meh. It shouldn't be like that, I need to remember the fun and excitement. Now I know I'm not going to PR it, at this rate I just hope to be able to run the whole thing, but I can use that knowledge. Since a PR is out of the question, and in fact I can't even run fast, there is no pressure at all for this race. Maybe I can do something that I haven't actually done in years; take some time during a race to enjoy the course, the other runners, the spectators. In short, to go out and have some fun.