I’ve Realised Again That Running Should Be Fun And Not Just Pain And Misery.
In recent weeks I’ve been falling back in love with running again and for the right reasons. I was taking it too seriously before. I was so worried about running further and faster that I just forgot about the simple joy of putting one foot in front of the other.
I don’t see running as something I have to do. It’s my time off! It is time to unwind. I’m not running to strengthen my mind, body or soul.
It is something I want to do.
I try to enjoy it as much as possible which is why I’ve been trying to view it as play. That’s why I’m against the phrase ‘speed work’. That’s why I’m against putting ‘100% into every heart and your soul into every run!’ and all of the cliched inspirational bullshit you read.
I’ve only started running more hills and upping my pace a little so that I don’t have to try so much in races.
If I never had to try again, it would be fabulous.
Running has become a lot more fun over the years the longer I’ve kept it going. It gets easier with time. If you run harder, you will see the benefits in your easy runs. They will become even easier and you’ll naturally want to do more.
Running should be play, not work.
Work makes it sound awful, tiring and boring. You can’t spend your entire life locked in that mentality. One day you’ll be 75, strapped to a bed in your own piss, ruing the day you ever took any of your life seriously.
I’m reminded of this speech by the professional alcoholic Alan Watts who argues that all work should be considered play.
The art of washing dishes is that you only have to wash one at a time. If you’re doing it day after day, you have in your mind’s eye an enormous stack of filthy dishes that you have washed up in years past and an enormous stack of filthy dishes which you will wash up in years future
I think that analogy from the video fits perfectly into my mentality before a long run.
I sit there thinking that every mile will hurt so fucking much, but once I get out there on that very first mile, everything falls into place. So much of my failure with running in the past can be attributed to thinking too much about each mile ahead of me and not on the act of just keeping each leg ahead of the other.
I make it so much more complicated by worrying about splits, weekly mileage, elevation gain and negative splits that I kill the fucking fun of it for myself.
I want to focus more on each moment and get into the mindset where my nagging mind disappears altogether during a run and I can keep on going for many hours on end.
It will happen. It is happening.
I think I might be planning a 100k next.