Finding Passionand Running with it: Part 2
It's been a while since the last post. I was hoping that the next time I posted something, I would be ready to chronicle the ways that I re-discovered my passion for running and other things. Well, that is not what you'll find here. The big race I was training for has come and gone. I did come home with a nice finishers medal but no spectacular finishing time that I was hoping for.
Quick race recap: I was standing at the start line for the Colorado marathon as the sun came up behind the pink clouds. I felt prepared and energized. Nervous, but I did not feel completely under trained. I had scaled back my training after the the infamous DNF in Salida. I actually ran a 5 minute PR at the Platte River Half Marathon which was a huge confidence booster. Anyway, the race started and I planned to start with the 3:15 pace group and hold on as long as I could. The first 3 miles were fairly successful. Then it all went south. I'll spare you the graphic details, but couldn't really keep anything down after that. Nothing like yakking up cold noun after every aide station. I lost all motivation after mile 3.
The stomach issues have been a constant challenge in my running carreer especially in times of stress and serious pressure. I think it may be something that I mentally do to my body... not sure. Back to the race: this was the hardest race I've ever finished. All I wanted to do was drop out, to quit, and go home. There was no obvious place to drop and I was too embarrassed to ask if I could, so I pressed on at what felt like a snail's pace (I had no idea what pace I was running as I had stopped my watch at about 6 miles.) To pass the painful miles, I thought about the reason why I run, or rather finding a reason to keep running and to race competitively. Finding a reason to care.
Before this year, running and racing has come very naturally to me. I just raced because I was good at it and my ego liked that. I never had to have a reason to race or to train... it's just how it was. During this race, I kept coming back to how much I would rather be doing something else. Something more productive (whatever that means). I kept thinking about how I could save money by not paying race entry fees, how terrible all the cups used in marathons are for the environment, and how all the race swag gets in the way of my minimalist and anti material goals. How can my passion be at such odds with my values? How can these coincide? Maybe my passion for running will be fulfilled by miles outside of the actual race scene. Can I run without constantly training for something?
I don't think I did this I'm my last post but here is a small list of think I'm going to attempt to maybe help me re-ignite my passion for running... and everything else. I've found these things from various books I've been reading in the last few months. They are all listed with the author at the bottom of the post.
1. Simplify everything: having less physical things and less extra things that take up my time will allow more focus on the stuff that actually brings joy and meaning.
2. Make things meaningful: participate in activities, work included, with a mindful and meaningful attitude.
3. Develops creativity and spirituality: I think I am seriously lacking both in my life right now.
4. Step back from the running that I don't want to do. Maybe just run fun runs and be less concerned about racing.
5. Cultivate a better and more positive inner dialogue while running and while not running. I have a habit of talking myself down when things are not going well.
Hopefully sharing my story will help others who may be struggling with the same thing. Making my story public has helped me cope and analyze the situation. More to come.
"Tools of Titans" by Time Ferris
"Enough" by Patrick Rhone
"The Face: A Time Code" by Ruth Ozeki