“Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.”-Julie Isphording
I came across that quote on Pinterest the other day and it got me thinking. Y’all probably remember that I’m training to run the NYC Runs Frozen Penguin Half in March, but I haven’t been posting weekly recaps, so you might not know that I’m not really sticking to my plan. I’ve skipped at least one run each week…sometimes due to the weather, sometimes due to soreness and sometimes because I just don’t feel like running. After reading that quote, it hit me. I’ve outrun my joy of running.
Running usually invigorates me, but lately I find myself dreading every mile on my plan. This weekend, I was really anxious about my long run, which was supposed to be 7 miles total: 5 easy and 2 fast to finish. Saturday was a mess of snow, ice and rain, so I pushed the run to Sunday, but was worried about the ice and slush and was having major doubts about my paces. Finally, I made a decision to let it all go. (“Let it gooooo, let it goooo…can’t hold it back anymore!” Sorry…I get carried away!) If I’m not enjoying running right now, why am I doing it? I don’t HAVE to run and I’m lucky that I get to run. So I decided to change my attitude, ditch my run expectations and just hit the trails for some fresh air and Vitamin D.
This was such a brilliant decision! Skies were clear and blue, the sun was out and the wind wasn’t too bad. I took my YakTrax out for their first ride and just let myself get lost on some snow packed trails, listening to the Wild audio book. I’ve been thinking about buying YakTrax for awhile now and finally bit the bullet a few weeks ago, knowing I’d be doing all of my running outdoors this winter. Let me tell you, after just one run in them, I’m sold! I felt super confident on all the different surfaces the winter trails were throwing at me: slippery ice, fluffy flakes and super dense snow.
I know people who just add screws to the bottoms of their shoes for the same effect, but I like that I can add these to any shoes and they go on and off easily. Yaktrax cost around $30, so the screws are definitely your best bet if you want to save money though. I also just saw a version of these in Marshall’s for around $10 which might be a good idea if you’re thinking of trying them out.
Somewhere along this run, I also made an important decision: I’m quitting my “official” half marathon training. I plan to continue running 3-ish days a week, including one long run on the weekends, and will definitely run the half marathon on March 7th. But I’m done stressing myself out over my plan. I don’t care about paces or PRs, I’m really enjoying CrossFit, and I don’t want to outrun my joy of running anymore. Happy running only. Who’s with me?
Your turn: Do you back off running when it’s no longer fun? Have you tried YakTrax? Favorite audio book?