Running With Joy

9 Nov

I’ve been reading Ryan Hall‘s book called “Running With Joy” about finding the simple joy in running. I never understood it the entire time I was marathon training. I’m a perfectionist, and every run I went on, I was stressing out about the marathon. My times were always pushing the limit on how slow I could be and still finish on time. It was a constant battle the entire 10 months: would I finish? would I get faster?

Granted, I had some really good training runs where I felt great afterward and rocked an awesome runner’s high, but the question of finishing and being good enough were always at the back of my mind. I never quite fully enjoyed my runs with the pressure I had put on myself.

This past Sunday I went for a run. Not because I had to follow a schedule, but because I wanted some exercise and needed to clear my head after a stressful week. It was crisp and cool, but the sun was out so it was a nice day. I planned to do 6 – 8 miles depending on time and my energy levels. I hadn’t done a long run since the marathon, and I had just gotten new shoes last week.

I set off on the trail, which was fairly deserted. It was a beautiful fall morning. I had my iPod on, but otherwise just enjoyed the scenery. Squirrels and rabbits were out scurrying around trying to bulk up for winter. It was a lovely day. I ended up doing 6 miles. Before when I ran, I obsessively checked my Garmin for my pace, distance, time, etc to see if I was at all on track. I only checked my watch once on this run when I felt like turning around to make sure I had gone out 3 miles.

Otherwise, I didn’t have a clue the entire time what my pace was nor did I care. It was honestly one of the best runs I’ve ever been on. There was no more pressure, no need to accomplish anything. I was simply there to enjoy my run and get some exercise in. When I finished, I was really happy. It had taken me 1:29:50, but I didn’t care anymore. I just had enjoyed a beautiful 6 mile run on a great fall day. What was there to be upset about? I’ve already conquered the marathon. Now I can just sit back, relax and enjoy running with joy.

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2 Responses to “Running With Joy”

  1. Laura November 9, 2011 at 9:36 AM #

    This is so good to read! I’m learned to leave the garmin alone and let it do its thing while I run and just run by feel. Such a good feeling!

    • Noel D. November 10, 2011 at 5:32 AM #

      Yeah it was really fun just to enjoy it. I was the only one who put pressure on myself during training, but that’s my personality. So it was definitely awesome to be free of that and just enjoy the run and time to myself.

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