I've been debating writing about this because I tried to talk about it a few times and don't think I explained it well. Then I tried to post in a few Facebook groups I'm in and I still didn't feel like people got it. So I'm still not sure that I can get the words right to explain it, but why not pose the dilemma to the rest of the internet and of course, you guys since you all know me so well.
In the first Spirit of the Marathon movie (if you haven't seen it...I'm not sure we can be friends) Lori talks about the mystery of "zen runners" and how they can just run along with no watches, no paces or splits and just happily be at one with the world.
Years ago I started with a zen runner attitude. I wore gym shorts and cotton tshirts, ran on the treadmill, sometimes with my ipod and called it a day. It was fun, it was no pressure, I just did my thing when I felt like it and that still turned out to be at least 3 days a week. Then I got the idea to start racing and that was FUN. Racing gave me this surge of energy and adrenaline plus a tshirt and sometimes a medal! What's not to like?
|First 5k...All cotton|
Why do I say all of this?
I used to really need racing. If I have a race on the calendar, train for it and finish it then I am worth it. I'm good enough. My life is worth living. (Yes, it's been that serious for me) In all areas of my life, not just fitness, I've been a goal setter and unfortunately those personal and professional goals I'd set for myself either didn't happen or took a really long time to happen. Enter my racing obsession. I could distract myself from not needing to buy fancy business suits for important meetings by buying the highest quality shorts, tights and tech tees. I wasn't decorating my office so why not decorate my arm with a fancy, huge, wrist eating watch? I didn't get that great job I applied for but I managed to hold that 9:33 mile pace for much longer than I thought! I did really badly on that LSAT and may not get into law school...but I killed my first half marathon!
Point being, I needed racing to tell me I was good enough. But I don't need that external validation anymore and that is such a relief for me! I have a career I absolutely love and am pretty good at although there's still a lot to learn. I have a relationship that is reliable and everything I didn't even know I wanted. For once I'm not stressing about bills because I can pay for them. I got my tooth issue handled because I had insurance and didn't need to break the bank. I'm so happy with so many things that I'm ready to remove all the extra clutter from my life and go back to being zen. I hate using heart rate monitors, I actually run faster when I don't know my pace or distance but I don't miss my cotton tshirts.
Maybe it's time for me to focus on living a little and having exercise as a supplement. Or maybe I'm just having a bad day.