the wonderful world of veena.

07 April 2014

13 of 52: running without the pressure of a race.

Since my cold and rainy half marathon in Little Rock at the beginning of March, I didn't run again until a week ago. Between taking a week to rest and then some cold weather and then my trips to DC and New York, I got out of the routine of it. And honestly, after that last race, I was over it. I was done.

Training for and running two half marathons in a 4.5 month period - when I'd never run one before - took a toll on me. I began dreading my training runs. I kept finding excuses not to run. I kept repeating the same mantra: "tomorrow I'll go for that long run. tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow". And more often than not, tomorrow never came. There were two weeks solid in the middle of February when I didn't go for one single run. Yes, it was below freezing for those two weeks. But I could have found other places to run if I really wanted to.

And that's what it came down to: I really didn't want to run anymore. I had paid the registration for the Little Rock race, so I was determined to make it through, but it was tough going. Between the rain, the falling temperatures, and my lack of training, I'm pretty proud that I finished in 3:06, especially since I couldn't feel most of my extremities. But after that, I needed a break.

I took those weeks to travel, to have fun with my friends, and to refocus my mind. And then, last Monday, I woke up and decided to go for a run. The weather was beautiful, I was in a good mood, and with no particular distance in mind, I laced up my shoes, stretched my muscles, and took off.

It was a short run, only a little longer than a mile, but it was a start. And it was a mile longer than I had run in the previous 4 weeks. And the best part was that I actually enjoyed it. It was a chance to sort through some things in my mind, figure out a few things for the weeks ahead, and generally to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and exercise.

And it really reenergized me. That run reminded me that I don't need to run 10 miles every time I go outside. I can run 2 miles and be completely satisfied with that. I was putting too much pressure on myself trying to run longer distances and times - and competing with friends on the Nike+ running app - and I was taking all the fun out of it. But last week I went for runs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. All were short runs, each just a little longer than the previous one, and I came out of all of them feeling great.

So I decided this is what I need. To run shorter distances - and maybe increase my pace a little while I'm at it - and to remember to have fun. To enjoy running for the sake of running and not because otherwise I'll never be able to finish a longer race. Instead, I am going to take advantage of the nice spring weather and use it as motivation to get out and start running again.

Will I run another half marathon? Perhaps; I'm certainly not ruling it out. But definitely not for a while. For now, I want to concentrate on learning to love running again.

And for now, that's good enough.

other highlights included: girls' night at India Palace; my business cards arrived in the mail! [and gave me an excuse to play with Sharpies]; finalizing plans for B+B's engagement party next weekend; beautiful spring weather; introduced my parents to the awesomeness of Frozen; back to homemade Sunday lunches with my parents.

[my beautiful alma mater]

[india palace feasting]

[behold! wandering samaritan business cards!]

[testing out colours and fonts]

[spring has arrived in our backyard]

[delicious sunday lunch with the parents]
After all the craziness that was March, last week was exactly what I needed to refresh myself and get ready for the months ahead.

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