I've been super duper burned out on all sorts of things lately. Running included. Running especially. I've been unable to see the point in my day-to-day happenings, and also see no reason to shake up the day-to-day happenings so as to produce a point. Heck, I'm so unable to see points, that I've removed point-producing items, like the pencil sharpener, all the ballet shoes, and the bra to my Madonna costume.
I am burnt. And you know you're in trouble when your one tool for preventing the burn-out is causing the burn-out (running in my case.)
To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the actual running of the Timpanogos Half Marathon last weekend. I was excited to see friends and whatnot, but the prospect of racing gave me dread, and it's all because I want to be (and run) fast.
When summer rolls around, I have an undulating desire for speed and focus on fast. All I think about is getting faster. I read this 'n that from various circulars and publications, all in the hopes that I will finally find the thing, the plan, the mileage, the supplement, the shoes – the whatever – that will make me run faster.
All this focus on fast can make a runner forget about the fun, and how the fun of running is the reason you do it in the first place.
Last Saturday morning, I was not in the mood to run. Goes without saying that I was not in the mood to race either. I was all sorts of blah. On the bus ride, I decided that I'd just run the first mile and see what happens. That's it. Run the first mile and try to have fun doing it. So that's what I did, I ran the first mile and discovered that I was enjoying myself. Decided that I could prolly push it and still have fun. I finished the race decently, had a great time, and earned a new PR.*
*Well kind of a PR. I'm calling this race my new half marathon PR. I've run a half marathon in 1:29:07, but that half marathon was the Hobble Creek and it always measures around 12.8 instead of 13.1. At a 7 minute mile average, that's about 1 minute 45 seconds of cheating. With this same logic, one might infer that Saturday's 1:30:22 would be a 1:28:37 at Hobble Creek.
Something magical happened this weekend. I discovered that I run because it's fun, and not because I'm fast. I also discovered that if you focus on fun, the fast will come.
I think there's a life metaphor in there somewhere, don't you? Whatever you're doing, whatever your responsibilities, find the fun in it first, and the rest will work itself out. Not having fun? Make it fun or do something else. Not able to do something else? Wear that Madonna bra and sharpen pencils 'til you decide that anything is better than sharpening pencils in a Madonna bra. Especially running.