Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Kind of Training Run: a joyful one

My Joyful Training Run

I have a goal this coming marathon and it may shock you but it's not a time goal.  My goal is to cross the finish line with a huge smile on my face and if there are tears they will be tears of happiness and pride.  My first Marathon almost a year and half ago was exactly that.  Almost every race (2 marathons, 3 half marathons) after that have ended in disappointment.  Even in May when I achieved a personal best on the half marathon.  I had become to hard on myself was setting goals that if I didn't achieve I felt defeated.

I"ve had a change of heart.  You see the thing is I have been gifted a second chance in life.  Running and fitness and have gifted me a healthy strong body and mind.  I can do things that I could only dream off 3-4 years ago.  Like run a marathon or jump on the euro bungee with the kids.  My mindset has shifted this summer to enjoying this life with my family and friends and LIVING a healthy and happy life.  Perfect diet, a number on the scale, or even a time on my garmin don't carry the same importance they once did.

So this weekend when we headed off to Sandbanks with friends for our last summer hurrah, I had serious misgivings about doing my scheduled 29km training run Sunday am.  The thought of spending 3 hours out running, plus the usual hour or more of recovery after made me pause.  I didn't want to miss out.  I wanted to be at the beach with them playing in the waves, and laying in the sand talking to my friend.  I wanted to drink wine by the campfire Sat night and let go and relax.  Not be sipping water to prepare for a run.  I didn't want to get up early to get out early for that crazy run, when I could be snuggled up to my curly kid in my sleeping bag.  I know my husband didn't want me waking up the whole tent to get up early to run either lol.

I've been training for a race for what seems like forever, I choose to do that and for the most part I love having goal.  But this weekend I made the decision on Saturday after wrestling inside a little that I would just enjoy the weekend, the beauty of Sandbanks and my family and friends.  On Sunday I woke up when I was ready after a good snuggle, and got dressed in my running gear.  I was still running but not because I had too, because I wanted too.  I wanted to run by the water and enjoy the chance to run in such beautiful surroundings.  I had no set route, I had no planned distance (other then knowing that I wanted to be back to play with the family in a decent amount of time).  I had my new Camelpak on to try out, and literally felt free.  I didn't have to worry about water, or time or distance.

I set out and felt great, which is really funny given I enjoyed many a glass of wine the night before.  I think I must have been really happy and I was sucking back freely on my water hose rehydrating.  I had this amazing moment on the run, where I was close to hitting the 5 mile mark. In my mind I said get to that turn around and then you will know you did a SOLID 10 MILES.  The old me that is number focused started to focus on that.  But there was a crest of a hill up ahead and I knew there was something awesome on the other side.  So I kept going, not knowing where it would take me.  I was rewarded on the other side with the view in the pic up above.  The beautiful sun shining on the lake and the sound of the waves.  I didn't turn around to do a set out and back...I just followed the water and I enjoyed every step.

Happy Happy Girl 
I ended up running 15km that morning because I chose too and with a huge smile on my face a gift to myself.   When I returned to the campsite I was rewarded with a coffee and baileys!  I felt a tad guilty for not following my training plan.  But then I spent the morning on of these:

and I spent the day playing on the beach with these kids:

We had the biggest water fight in the waves that day, made amazing memories and tracked half the beach home with us.  No regrets whatsoever.  Next weekend 32km will be mine and I have a feeling they will be easier to run now that I have recharged my spirt.


  1. I loved reading this! Having followed your blog for a while now, it really really makes my heart glad to know that you've found that sweet spot of health AND happiness in health!