This post was from one of my other blogs I started and didn’t like (It really lacked direction). The run I am talking about happened around mid-June this past summer and the thoughts and emotions I experienced and attempted to record are along the lines of what I want to express with this blog.
Last week I was out on one of my daily training runs, expect I can’t really call them training runs anymore. What am I training for? I don’t know, I guess to stay in shape. Yeah, we’ll call it that…
So anyhow, I was out on one of my runs last week. It was a planned eleven miler on the roads through town, a loop starting and ending at the local dirt track. All was going quite well and according to my Garmin Forerunner 210 right on an average pace of 6:20 per mile. Right on target.
I had just finished coming off the hilly section of my run at mile five and started to work my way back down to the flats of the valley floor to finish up my run. The next mile and a half went smooth if not fast according to my watch. Just as I turned to descend the last gradual hill to the valley floor it began to drizzle. By mile seven it had turned into an all out downpour.
As my watch beeped at my, clambering for my attention to tell me my most recent split and that I had four miles left, I faced a decision to make. Continue on, or take an impending right turn back to my car and cut my run three miles short. Something inside of me kept me from taking that right turn and guided me straight and then to the left, continuing along my intended route.
My watch beeped one final time to inform me that I had finished my run, all eleven miles, I slowed to a walk. I was soaked from head to toe and cold. As I stripped off my long sleeve shirt that was clinging to my body I realized something else, I felt happy. It was the happy feeling along the lines of completing something that you normally wouldn’t do on your own, and it felt great. You see, I am not one to usually run in the rain and would only do so if there was no other option. But this time there was another option and I kept going.
I stood there, on the track, letting the rain, which had now receded to a drizzle again, bounce off my chest and back contemplating my running. Was this finally the run that signified that I was moving on from being a college athlete? Was I finally moving on from the self imposed pressure cooker of trying to stay on top? Had the rain really washed away the feeling that you are always one step behind the competition? Had all this happen in one run? Regretfully, it had not. The dirt on my skin from college running is going to take a lot more than one run in the rain to remove it.
I recently had a conversation with an older friend and he asked how my running was going. As we talked, he reminded me that I need to get back to the root of my running and that I wasn’t in college anymore. I needed to re-find why I love running. I need to start removing the layers of dirt from my skin. The first step is to take the pressure off myself. I need to relax and enjoy every run. Don’t worry about pace, run how you feel at that moment.
I am starting to realized this will be long journey to self recovery, not the short path I had been hoping for. I don’t know where this path may take me, but I want to, no need to, follow it. I believe a change of scenery will do me a lot of good. Get away from the two running communities I know, and give me a chance at re-inventing my self and my running. I will stay in contact with my past and all the friends I made, but the future beckons and awaits with open arms. Open arms to embrace a new me and a new relationship with running.
I have to give this a try. I have to do this in order to save running. In order to save all the good friends an memories I made. I have to do this in order to save myself.