It’s been over 5 years since I started running. And over the years the reasons for running have evolved too. It began with a quest to find myself. I started respecting and loving myself a little more every time I ran. I needed to run to have conversations with myself. The more I ran the more I understood about how much more capable I am of everything else. Then came a time when I ran for speed. I loved it and I wanted to get better and I wanted to prove myself. But I realised I was trying to prove myself to others and seeking validation. I think that’s where I got robbed of the joy that comes from running. I was achieving PBs but I wasn’t truly happy. And you can’t ever be truly happy if you are trying to do things for others. And that revelation was enough for me to take a step back from running. Now I have chosen to only run for myself, when I really want to and when it really makes me happy. I don’t know if this is what happens when you evolve as a recreational runner but it has definitely happened to me. And since then somethings have changed –
1) Pace doesn’t bother me at all. As long as I’m enjoying my run is all that matters.
2) Others’ pace also doesn’t matter anymore. I only feel happy when I see someone else happy.
3) I don’t think stopping to help someone during a run or because I have to stop to tie my laces or to pet a dog, will spoil my run.
4) I don’t feel that I will “forget how to run” anymore. I’m not smug about it but I’m not insecure either. Deep inside I know I will be able to build up for a long distance when I really want to.
5) I don’t constantly reward myself after a good run. Basically, I don’t binge anymore after a good run.
6) I don’t berate myself for a bad run. I take it as it comes. Some days are good and some simply bad and there’s no point in wasting time mulling over it.
7) I don’t try to keep running in circles to get in those extra 100 meters to round off my run to a 5km or a 10km. I’m happy irrespective.