I came to the realization the other day that I really like being a middle of the pack runner. It’s not that I don’t want to be faster, because that would be super awesome! My problem is that I want to preserve my love of running, and between teaching and mothering, running is the thing that keeps me happy! So things around here are changing like Mini Me changes hair styles.
Let me explain.
I love my job. I freaking.love.my.job. It makes me happy. Most of the time. But there is a boatload of work and planning that goes into the school year. There are also moments of frustration and anxiety. To avoid the downward spiral of anger and resentment towards my job, I run. It’s my time to process my day and to ensure that nobody at home (or work) unwittingly ends up at the receiving end of work-related rage.
I especially love my girls. I love my girls more than anything ever in the history of everdome. They make me the happiest of happy. But sometimes, on days when I didn’t get up early to run or after a ridiculously challenging day at work, after I’ve heard, “Mommy? Mommy?…” for the (not hyperbolic) thousandth time, I’m done. To avoid a mommy meltdown, I’ll take a deep breath, announce “I’m going for a run,” and set up shop on the treadmill in the garage and wait for the girls to come out and start making song requests. It works.
<-Happy mother runner.
Running keeps me happy.
It might be the endorphins. It might be the quiet time. It might be the meditative state I tend to fall into on my runs. Whatever it is, running is something that I need in my life. It’s free therapy. Minus the cost of shoes, gear, and race registrations. But the running (and the community of runners that accompany said running) is free.
So, in an effort to perpetuate better living, I am going to run every single race I sign up for during the remainder of this year without the pressure of running a PR. I am going to run every single one of my training runs based on how I feel that day. I have a pretty good idea of what my mileage needs to be in order to be able to finish a marathon injury-free, and I’ll loosely follow the long-run schedule I’ve followed before, but other than that, I’ll be running for fun for the rest of the year.
Why am I doing this? Because I can. Because I want to be a happy teacher and a happy mom and a happy runner. Because I don’t want to be all bummed out if I hit snooze a gazillion times in tine morning and then have to skip a workout in the afternoon because of my kids’ swim practice. I don’t have it in me right now to set time goals. I don’t have it in me to push paces on my runs. It’s summer. And this is my plan.
<-Plan: to be happy like my dogs.
Note: It’s also, well, summer, and I get notoriously lazy during summer, so my attitude about setting goals might change.
Here’s my sparse fall schedule so far:
What keeps you happy?
What is one of your goals right now?