And not the kind that will actually compete in a race to place in my age category.
I started out running for fun and as a challenge. I was never a “runner” before, and, in fact, I hated it. (See the About page.) But, when I started running, I was so proud of myself for not comparing myself to other runners. I had resisted saying “oh, that was a bad run, my pace was only XX:XX”. Part of what had helped that was the ability to keep a steady pace across most of my runs. Sure, I’d be off by 10 – 30 seconds between two given runs, but it was a pretty steady pace.
Now, all of a sudden, my pace is off by more than a minute/mile. My heart rate and breathing have been crazy. I’ve had to take walking breaks, even on the shorter 4-5 mile runs. I kept thinking, “well, maybe it was lack of nutrition/hydration/sleep” or “you’ve had so much going on, your body’s just plain tired!” This last Saturday run was the last straw for me.
It was a beeee-autiful day to be outside. Low humidity, sun was out, nice breeze. Everything a runner could ask for. I was so excited to be out in it. But, the run itself was bad. I felt like I was breathing through a straw. It was overall yucky.
Then the negative thoughts started creeping in. Why am I forcing myself to do it? Why do I suck all of a sudden? What am I doing wrong? Is it the breathing? High pollen count? My form?
I don’t want to be that runner – the one that has to compete all the time. Don’t get me wrong – I want to improve, get better, and run for my health. But I don’t need another thing to judge myself on and put negative thoughts in my head. I do that enough as it is.
Instead, my goal over the next couple months is to focus on enjoying running, see what I’m running by, and stay positive throughout the entire run. Even if it means I need to walk some of it. Here’s to staying positive and focusing on the good things when I’m out for a run.