Some people seem to thrive under pressure, achieving fantastical results and reaching new heights with every challenge. Me, I seem to find pressure more of a burden. Maybe it’s because of the demands of a stressful job and a constantly on the go lifestyle, but when it comes to fitness I just want to have fun.
All of this became crystal clear to me when I fell out of love with running.
Last Spring I decided to train for a marathon, not being happy with my debut time in 2012. I was on track pace- and distance-wise, but just didn’t have the desire to get out and run. The shadow of a fixed schedule and that feeling of having to run hanging over me, I rebelled against myself and bailed on sessions, taking advantage of the slightest of excuses.
Without the important “time on feet” it was hardly surprising when I picked up an Achilles injury and had to withdraw from the race with just three weeks to go. I took some time off to recover, but struggled to get back into the running mood and spent most of the rest of the year just doing the odd gym workout here and there.
Nine months later I signed up for a Half Ironman, thinking perhaps the variety of triathlon training combined with the challenge of a different beast of long distance event might spur me on. Just five weeks into my training it was happening again; I was struggling to fit my sessions in, finding excuse after excuse to not go out on my bike rides and runs.
And then it struck me. All I had done since training started was whinge. I was tired and not enjoying myself. I decided there and then that what I really enjoy is running, and training, just for the hell of it. I train because I enjoy it, and I want to be able NOT to train because I don’t need to.
So once again, I quit.
Fast forward to now and I’ve been running once a week with my local running club (Harlow Running Club) on top of my regular CrossFit training. To test the water a little, I’ve also joined a social media team running challenge, trying to clock up 214 miles as a five-strong team over a period of two weeks.
And I’ve decided to enter a Women’s Running 10K. I haven’t raced since Spring 2013 (bar an impromptu 10k with a friend in May this year, oh and of course the Doughnut Dash last weekend), and I can’t wait.
The WR10k series finale in Finsbury Park is seemingly the perfect event for me – no pressure, friendly and fun – and with the last day of our social media team challenge being the same day as the race I see it as the perfect culmination to my falling back in love with running.
Find out how I get on in my post race report, which will be on my blog soon after the race.
Why do you run? Do you train best under pressure, determinedly working towards the next achievement? Or are you more of a social runner, pounding the pavements for pure enjoyment? Have you ever fallen out of love with running?