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Remembering why we do it....

kjg's picture

Things have been going very well with my half marathon training. I did my longest run to date this Saturday of 11 miles (in light snow, which by the way goes in your face in both directions!) in a blistering 8 and a half minute mile pace. This has been pretty consistently by long run pace (except for the 15F day with -10F wind chill!) And this evenings 4 mile fast run was sub 8 min miles. These are paces that I previously only dreamed about. So everything is going well....

Except, that my overwhelming feeling this evening was anger! I was angry at the people who hadn't bothered to shovel their sidewalks so the sun hadn't melted the snow and I was left running through 6 inches of snow and I was angry at the people who always park two cars in their driveway so that the second one blocked the sidewalk.

I even started to plot during my run how I could come back and post flyers on there cars asking them to walk an extra 5 feet and not to block the sidewalk and to please be so kind as shovel their sidewalks! I even had thoughts of flagging down a police car and riding the neighborhood with him to point out the repeat offenders of the car parking offence!

Then as my Garmin beeped to say that I had reached my goal distance of 4 miles, and I slowed to a warm down jog I realised that I had temporarily forgotten why I run. I had become preoccupied with pace and that was why I was resenting the obstacles of the parked cars and snow covered sidewalks. The last half mile was the most fun of this run (which now seemed so short compared to the long runs I have been putting in.) I looked around me and enjoyed the world.

Going fast is nice but enjoying I am doing is what keeps me coming back!


roadskater's picture

Remember to Stop and Smell the Exhaust

Thanks for the reminder of keeping the fun in. Keeping the balance between being a slacker and overworking is part of the challenge and the fun of working out.


What I found from running was that if I continued to make myself do it and to worry about pace that I could easily ruin it so I would never want to do it again. I also found that it was better to do 20 minutes as many days as I could than to do an hour or two one day a week. This winter I've taken more of a break because last year skate problems and nagging injuries made my workouts a bit less fun some of the time (though there were lots of great days out with t2t and the training rides, and a2a turned out to be great fun even with some funnysad hurdles; and we had a couple of great skates out near Apex).


I found out a long time ago that I've never been fast or a great athlete. I did OK at running, but I managed to make it drudgery some of the time. I decided to skate for the love of skating, even with pain, heat, exhaustion, whatever. In years where I love it more, I do better, because I skate more and quite naturally get faster and have more endurance. In years where I love it less often, I simply don't go as far or as fast.


Obsession may be one key to success I guess, but a happy obsession, not a desperate, forced one, in my view. When skating takes me away from my life's problems for awhile, I do better at skating and at life's problems. When skating becomes one of life's problems, because of injury, equipment, difficulty finding good places to skate, and such, then it is definitely time to reevaluate...either your gear, your workouts, or your life! 


We all know that our skating, cycling, running and exercise are essential components of creating and keeping a happy and healthy life. Thanks for the reminder. And good luck with the snow, cars and other obstacles.


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