So many people tell me they want to run. They really want to start running but it sucks. It is so hard, they get out of breath, they are just too out of shape…..you know the deal. Believe me, I get this and a whole lot more.
For awhile this spring I was running 60-70 miles a week. I wasn’t training for anything in particular, but just got in a groove and was enjoying my running. I then had an injury and that forced me to take nearly a month off. Post-injury I was so excited to get back “on the track” so to speak. But man was I a tad bummed at how easily winded I get now. I lost a bit of what I had going, but I also know from years of experience that it will come back quickly. Let me tell you though, it does add a little “suck” to the workouts right now.
The other night I was reminiscing with someone about when I first got back into running after years away. It was early one summer and I decided to get in great shape. I ate super well and made a goal to run six days a week, 3 miles each time, and take Sundays off. Every day those 3 miles were rough! They were hard. I even remember playing mental games like I do now but instead of playing games to get me through a 20 mile run I was counting the days til my next day off. “Today is Wednesday. After today I have three more runs until I get a day off. Only 9 miles to go til rest day!”
I had no idea that those 9 miles would someday be a normal morning run for me. Funny how things change.
Today is the start of our last week in NYC until the fall and it also is the start of our week long summer camp for our young students. I am lucky enough to get to spend every day with 3-7 year olds. We run around Central Park, throw balls at each other, color with chalk on the sidewalk, and play all sort of games that get made up along the way.
Have you ever sat back and watched a young child play in the park? Do you know what they spend most of their days doing? Running.
They run for hours. They run in circles and up hills, back and forth and never stop. When they finally do it is only to catch their breath. If you ask them if they want a break they usually look at you like you are nuts and run back to what they were doing.
You never hear them whining about jogging to get their toy or having to chase the dog up the hill. Hills? Those are fun little obstacles to a child. To us, they are some sort of speed work torture device that we moan about all day and the day after.
Part of me thinks we should throw my Garmin on a kid and see just how far they run. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get more mileage in during an afternoon than we do for a “workout.” Don’t worry, no Garmin’s on the children today!
Maybe we need to take the “work” our of workout. Wouldn’t it be fun to approach your running with the carefree, throw caution to the wind mindset of a 4 year old?
Go ahead and turn on your GPS, put the headphones in and find some fun music. But forget about your pace, or what you “have” to do. Try to spend some time this week focusing on what makes running fun to begin with. Even if you are like the old running me and you count the days until you get a break, dig deep down inside and find what made you love running as a kid.
I dare you to have a fun run!