Why running is about the journey, not the end goal

It’s really easy to lose motivation sometimes. Things get busy at work, you end up going to bed later than you planned, you hit the snooze button once and suddenly you’re 2 weeks down the line and have barely worked out at all. (Or is that just me?…)

When you get yourself into a bit of a rut, it’s easy to lose perspective on things. You find yourself stressing over pace (note to self: positive splits are NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!), and wondering why the heck you’re struggling at 10:30/mile when you were feeling comfy at sub-10 just a few weeks ago!?

At this point, everyone around you seems fitter, and faster, and you’re convinced that everyone’s finding this running thing easy peasy and you’ve become some lethargic, heavy, uncoordinated ex-running slob who will never EVER get back to their old pace and oh, forget about running a marathon ever again… (Or fitting into those marathon tights, for that matter!)

Today, I headed out for a lunchtime run with a couple of friends. We did our usual 5k loop (well, their usual – I haven’t done it in weeks!). We hit the first mile at 9:27, and then it all went wrong. I slowed right down, my breathing wouldn’t settle, and at points my friends were literally running circles around me.

Predictably, I began to freak out a little. But then something in my brain switched. Like, dude – CHILLAX. The old you would have killed to be able to run that far, regardless of the pace! You’re actually pretty damn awesome! Remember when you couldn’t manage a mile without a walking break, and 5k seemed like the moon?

At that point, I definitely couldn’t, so I dug through my old Tweets and I stumbled across this little gem:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsBack in 2011, I was super excited to have run/walked over 2.5 miles. So excited, in fact, that I shared it on social media and then for good measure, I messaged my parents to let them know. (I was on my placement year in Spain at the time). And damn straight, the old me was proud! That 2.6 miles was AWESOME! Back then I didn’t care about pace, or weekly mileage, or whatever the heck everyone else was doing. I just ran for myself; because I enjoyed it, I loved the challenge and I loved pushing myself that little bit further each time. Case in point:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsRunning isn’t about the races you enter and the medals you hang on the wall (though I love both of those things, and they do have their place!), or your finishing times. Sometimes you get so caught up in the details, that you don’t realise quite how much pressure you’ve put yourself under. Remember – running should be FUN. You’re choosing to do it, after all!

Leave the pressure at work. Let running be your ‘you’ time. Let it be a stress reliever, an excuse to explore new paths, a way to make new friends, and an excuse to buy more pretty things (you’re welcome 😉 ).

After all, bad runs are bound to happen every now and then. Just means you’re due a good one next time!

– – –

Why do you run? Are you training for anything, or are you just doing it for fun? Ever find yourself lacking motivation?

 

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2 thoughts on “Why running is about the journey, not the end goal

  1. I love this post hun. It totally resonates with me as this year I seem to have been getting slower and slower and then becoming more frustrated that those around me are getting faster. I did my first marathon on Sunday and the time was not what I hoped for but the experience was brilliant, beyond my wildest dreams. I could not have enjoyed it more. It’s not all about the time 🙂 Keep up the great blog.

    • Thanks so much! And huge congrats on your first marathon!! I’m glad to hear it went well for you. You must be so proud 🙂 I definitely underestimated the impact that running longer distances would have on my speed. But you’re right, it’s all about enjoying it and getting out there 🙂

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