Posted by: Ingrid | October 23, 2009

For the love

So I thought that after a week long break, I would be ready to follow through on my next running goal.  I decided that since there are several 10K Turkey Trots nearby on Thanksgiving that I would print out a running plan and try to PR.  I’d do a little speedwork and keep my mileage between 30-40 miles per week since it’s getting colder and my motivation seems to be flagging when it comes time to get out of bed.

By day two of the plan, the day I was supposed to do a tempo run but never got around to it, I was remembering that there are two things I’m bad at following through on: running plans and dieting.  For some reason, for all that I’m structured and scheduled and self-controlled as soon as I start working on either of those I lose it.  I’ll have my perfectly sane easy to do plan and I decide to exercise my right to rebel against whatever parameters I’ve so carefully set up.  I find it all psychologically interesting but personally very very frustrating.

So now I’ll start that training plan next week.  Boy, does that sound familiar.

But I have still been running this week, despite all that, and will probably still make it to 30-32 miles.  While I’ve been out I’ve tried to pay attention to the sensory experience that running is.  There is something very gratifying about running during the autumn season as the world around me is changing so rapidly.  I could run the same route on a daily basis and see different things; deer, poised to run if I start towards them, black squirrels rushing around with their distinguished tails flipping out behind them, the spicy scent of leaves in the rain, corn fields dry and golden, the colorful gusting of leaf showers as I run down the road.

The world is a beautiful place right now and somehow that beauty is (I hope) bringing me back to a place where I remember that I don’t just run to meet my goals but also for the sheer love and beauty of it.  I think when I get to the end of any event I find myself out of balance and the goal and hope for a faster time has replaced the love and pure joy that I find out on the road.  This week, even though I didn’t get done what I wanted, I am trying to reclaim some of that balance.

Today, after sleeping in and missing my chance to do my long run (which was fine since it was raining sideways the wind was blowing so hard) I finally got out to run six miles in the rain.  No GPS, no time limit, nothing but me and my ipod and three layers of shirts, all of which were soaking wet by the time I got home.

And it was beautiful.

I haven’t seen the colors that vibrant in a while, set against the misty white of the clouded sky.  Leaves underfoot as my sodden sneakers splashed through puddles.  Leaves everywhere, in all shades and shapes, sometimes fluttering above me and sometimes falling with the raindrops as the wind shook the trees.  It was glorious.  It was peaceful.  It was everything you’d want a rainy run to be, the kind of run where you just can’t help smiling the whole time, even though the wind sometimes gusts so hard that you feel like you’re not actually moving and your socks are drenched and your shoes squish with each step.

This week I think it’s safe to say I can check off “Enjoyed my runs.”  Maybe next week I’ll have it in me to tackle the tempo runs and intervals.


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