I know after a marathon, people often stop running, or take a proper break. Not me, I was keen to get back at it, that is as soon as my ruined quads would let me (you can read more about my post marathon symptoms here). And as soon as my legs would let me, I got back to running. I booked a few races, and I was off again. Albeit at a slower pace 🐌.
I couldn’t find any speed in my legs (and not that I wanted to, so maybe it was a subconscious thing) but I took comfort in the ease of my marathon-paced runs, but at much shorter distances. But as I started to look at training plans for 10km races and I started to fear that I would never get back to PB paces, it all felt quite fast (and of course hard) 😓.
Generally, l like the social chilled out side of running. Running fast (or faster) is hard, and sometimes it hurts. Of course after those challenging runs, you feel epic 💪, but during them you feel less so. My inner monologue goes something like this: Why am I doing this? Because I want to be fast. But you’re old now, you’ll never be that fast again. Sure I can, if Nell can do it, why not me? Plenty of reasons. And it hurts. Pain is good, keep pushing. I’m going to back off now. No I’m going to pass that guy…. and so it goes on, around and around my little head 🤯.
So there is no doubt why I like the chilled out side of running. I get to sidestep the whole monologue and just be – there – in – the – moment — ahhhh☺️ . Every week I arrive at ParkRun, and I wrestle with pushing out the boat and trying for a PB versus stepping away from it. I can’t deny, maybe I have stepped away from trying hard for a while now.
I remember the half-marathon that I sabotaged (you can read about it here), by running a silly amount over the 2 days prior to race day (so my legs were extra tired), had a beer and a spicy Chinese takeaway the night before the race (so my tummy was extra precarious). Perfect race prep this was not 🙅. What it was, was laying the groundwork for why I didn’t beat my half-marathon PB, my excuse all set-up and ready to go, when I underachieved.
But something has changed. I met someone and no my husband need not worry 😂. Check out Julia on Instagram here. She’s just that achievable bit faster than me, attainable, not so speedy that I’m hopelessly trailing in the dust. And she’s always fighting for her PBs 🏅, putting it all out there. And I like that. She’s not afraid to go for it, and it must be rubbing off.
I went for it during last week’s ParkRun (and yes, I did hate it while I was doing it) but the glory of getting my fastest time this year (and probably 2 years) is still glowing🌟 inside me. And I might give it my all tomorrow too, I mean why not 🤷?
So just like that, I’ve found something in running that I’ve not had for a while. Tackling new distances is fun, and I love a good ole half marathon. But I’m going to make sure I step-up a bit more, and see what I can really do. What have I got to lose?
What is your running motivation? Do you strive for PBs? Are you tackling bigger distances? Or is running your stress buster and distances and times are not really that important? I’d love to hear your thoughts.