I never thought running would be just for fun – but it did! Yesterday evening, I was feeling a little down and not too great. I decided to put on my running shoes and went to my favorite running trail “Los Gatos Trails”. On the way there, I was deciding whether I should be “tracking” today’s jog with time, distance, and pace. I was also thinking which “training” I wanted to do. I could not decide, which was very uncharacteristic of me.
I had been nursing an ankle sprain for two weeks now, which had cut my running training short. Additionally, I was not feeling great with my stomach for a week now. Even before all these unfortunate health bumps, I had decided that October was going to be my last “rigorous” running training month. I would dial down during the winter time to rest and not push too hard due to weather and also part of my Chinese medicine practice.
It was one thing to have the “plan” set out, then it was another to get sidetracked by a sprained ankle and an upset stomach. There seemed to be a difference between a planned break versus a forced break. One felt controlled and the other felt out of control! Of course, I preferred having control, but of course, life was always throwing a curve ball.
In any event, I arrived to Los Gatos, and I decided to turn on Nike+ to at least keep track of the distance. The minute I walked into the park, I saw the lake with swans, ducks, and birds. I decided to just “run”: no expectations and no training goals. Just run. It was such a liberating thought – I still had Nike+ on, but I didn’t really try to achieve any goals. I just ran.
I did feel a little tough on the start, after taking 2-weeks hiatus. But, pretty soon, I was in a rhythm. I felt really relieved and happy that I came out to do an easy & fun run. It was nothing like when I was training for the mini-marathon where I was constantly thinking about my pace or how much distance remaining. I just enjoyed the music and more importantly the scenery.
On the return, as the sun was setting, I saw this beautiful view.
At the moment, I felt like I achieved a new level of “running”: running just for fun! It was not to say I didn’t enjoy running in the last 8 months, but it was always training for some races. It felt like I had a goal to meet. And meeting those goals was exhilarating! But, running to just run and having a good time were not really part of the equation. May this be a lesson for all other activities I undertake: enjoy and have fun!