Do your best! Give 100%! Push, push, push! Nothing else will do. Hard work never hurt anyone. Ignore the pain. Sweat is fat cells crying. Bullshit. That crap doesn’t fly with me. Not when it comes to exercise, anyway. I’ll push. I’m not afraid of sweat and hard work. But I’m also not going to push so hard I hurt myself. Not again, anyway.
I guess you can tell by my “screw all the pep talk” attitude that I didn’t beat my PR in my 10k today. I knew after the first mile it wasn’t going to happen, so I took it easy. I ran when it felt good. I walked when that felt better. I finished in a perfectly respectable 57:40, but a far cry from the sub 53:00 I would have liked.
I know I could have gone faster, but… not today. I had a headache. My left ovary hurt. It was humid and sweaty. And occasionally too windy. My music stopped playing at about the three mile mark and I couldn’t get my ridiculously gigantic smart phone back in or out of the arm band without slowing to a walk. Not that I hadn’t already slowed to a walk. A few times. All in all… I was grumpy and didn’t give a fuck. I didn’t want it bad enough.
And you know why? Because this “it” doesn’t matter to me. I like running. I don’t particularly like racing anymore. I thought a several month break from racing might spark things back up for me. It didn’t. My ideal run are the ones where I feel more like I’m playing than I’m working… the ones where I’m scampering up or down a steep incline on a wooded trail like a mountain goat, or lapping a cemetery thinking of zombies, where I’m not concerned about time or distance, where I’ll stop to take a break or a drink or a picture if the mood strikes me.
I saw the most awesome and enormous spider on a wall during the race today. Every instinct told me to stop and take it’s picture because it was so damn cool and huge. But I couldn’t, but cause I was racing.
I enjoy the first mile. Everyone’s still in a pack and there’s the excitement of passing people and jockeying for position. After that, it’s boring. The pack thins out so the nearest person is a hundred yards ahead… then it’s just you. Alone with your thoughts. And if I’m going to be running alone with my thoughts, I’d just as soon not have to pay an entry fee for it. Sometimes I wonder if I subliminally slow to a walk so someone will pass me, just so I can pass them again. Just to break the monotony.
Maybe I’m just a slacker. Maybe I’m a wuss. Maybe I don’t have the killer competitive drive. Maybe I have a childish, “If I can’t win, I don’t want to play” attitude. Maybe I’m just not that good of a runner. Or maybe I’m afraid of giving my all, and still falling short of my expectations. Hmmm… that’s a thought to explore later. But all in all… it doesn’t really matter. Getting out there and doing my mediocre-est is still getting out there and improving my cardiovascular health. It’s still burning about the same amount of calories as I would have if I scorched the race and finished faster. The job is still done.
And I for swag, I got this awesome thermal hat. That makes me look like a penis. In the dead of winter, I won’t care.