That's not entirely true. I have a few races coming up, The Blue Cross Broad Street 10 miler being one of them, the other being a half marathon with Team Challenge in June. But the first is more of a tradition and the second is as a coach. I really have nothing on my plate to actually "train for", but you know what? I couldn't be happier.
It took a while to kick start myself back into a running schedule, knowing I wasn't aiming for anything in particular other than staying in shape and keeping up with the fabulous Team Challengers every weekend. It's been tons easier to stick to the schedule with Ralph being out of PT and starting to run again (very very easy!) we're back to our regular schedule where certain nights we stay apart and go to our own respective gyms (I cannot WAIT until we live together *finally*).
Miracle of all miracles, mother nature finally brought spring to Philadelphia and sometime this morning it struck me that I can actually, dare I say it, run OUTSIDE after work. I was almost giddy getting ready. Shorts? what are those? T-shirts? what?
I decided to head out to Valley Forge and do one loop around the park. No set pace, although I did plan on using my lovely Garmin, just out for a nice run in the nice weather. It was probably one of the best runs I have had in a long time. The sun was setting, people were out walking, running, chatting and just enjoying nature. I even left my headphones in the car and focused on my thoughts.
As I passed over the rolling hills, watching the sun set, I was completely at peace with everything. I can't remember the last time I went running just because I wanted to, and not because I had a race to train for. In the past, when I became burnt out from running I gave it up all together. I had no motivation to keep going. It had become such a burden on my life I wanted to do other things instead. Now I feel like I have finally reached a place in my life where I don't have to have a race to keep me motivated. I don't have to worry about PRs and split times or speed work (unless I want to) or tapering. And I love it.
I got lost in the run, lost in my mind thinking about life, and the wedding and work and everything. Before I knew it I was almost done with the loop.
Running for fun, used to be something I said a lot when I was first starting out. I think some of that may have gotten forgotten amongst the finish times and competitiveness. My need to prove to everyone how fast I could be, and even prove it to myself took over. Today I got a little of it back. And I have to say I really missed it.
Even better than running with no plan? Breakfast for dinner!! When it's just me in my apartment I usually opt for breakfast-dinner, because it's quick, filling and delicious. Also because I never have time in the morning to make eggs.
Vanilla Chobani & honey w/ Nature's Valley maple brown sugar granola bar crumbled on top = AMAZING
Poached eggs and toast. Nomtastic.
(Chocolate milk not pictured - b/c I drank it too fast)
Have you ever taken a break from training and just enjoyed the run? Or do you need a race or a reason to train? Do you ever have yogurt for dessert as a stand in for ice cream? (ok I know I'm a little strange for that one...)