Yes, you read that right.
I made this decision a while back. And it was Right. For me. It’s who I am.
But, I was reading Matt Fitzgerald’s “Runner’s World Guide To Cross-training” and at the end he lists things we should be doing to be “a better runner”. All obvious stuff: sleeping, eating well, hydrating, etc., etc., and as obvious as all that is, “life” (or my life, at least) goes in the other direction. And yes, I could change it, and be a better runner…
But no, I chose to go out, I chose to eat all I want, and whatever I want, and it’s ok if it affects my running. So be it. I own the consequences of my choices.
I run because I like it. I run because it’s good for my health. I run because it helps me relax and think. I run because it allows me to eat all I want and makes my body look and feel like I am 22 without having to go to the gym, diet, cosmetic surgery, tanning beds, and all that gross stuff.
I want my running to bring that good stuff into my life, and NOT to take stuff out. I am not willing to cut my nights short, or miss out on quality time with friends or family. I am not willing to say no to that donut, that cupcake, that steak, or anything else.
I love running THIS much BECAUSE it is NOT stopping me from doing all the other things I like. I am not willing to sacrifice much from my life to run a few seconds faster. So I am ok with having less speed, or less endurance, or being a bit heavier on my feet.
I will cross-train a bit to avoid injury, I’ll give him that. I’ll do drills and I’ll wear flat shoes most days. I’ll hydrate, I’ll sleep a bit more when I can, and I’ll eat good stuff half the times. I’ll give him all that too. And I’ll ice-bath (who am I kidding? I love the ice baths!).
So it is OK if I never ever reach my full potential as a runner. I don’t mind. But I love and enjoy my running more this way, because it’s not taking anything away from me.
Pre said that “giving less than your best is sacrificing the gift“. But, what is that “best”? And what is that “best” for me? And what is my “gift”?
For him, it probably was to suffer in the track, to leave it all out there, to get to the point of blood and guts and broken bones and knowing he did all he could to win. Ah, Running and Pain go so close together… But what is it about with glorifying the pain in this sport? WHO likes pain???? No, don’t lie. No one likes it… You like knowing you are tough and you can withstand anything and feeling unbreakable, but no one likes the pain itself. Still, pain is inevitable here. I am still trying to learn to subject myself to as little pain as possible, short of walking. I might be sacrificing the gift, but I don’t think that’s “my gift”. My best is definitely something else. It’s not in a PR. It’s not in how many miles I suffer through, how high I place, how fast I can get, how many PRs in a row I score, how many races I do or qualify for. That is not the measure of me.