I have been struggling with motivation to run lately. And not just a little, but big time struggling. In part it’s been because I’ve been so busy, but when I’m seriously honest with myself I realise that I’m always busy. I have a one year old (in six days!), a PhD that’s being submitted in (hopefully) 50 weeks, a seminar series that isn’t going to organise itself, classes to prepare for (and when you’re the teacher you can’t just blow the reading off one week), a husband and a life – not to mention a self and a new bike that I want to ride all the time. But, I realise, I usually find the time to run. To fit the running in to all of that because I love to run and because I am a runner.
Sometimes I find it hard to go out because I know I have to run x kilometres, and try and do it with y intensity or in z time. The two best runs I have had in a long time I have thrown expectation out the window and run to feel. One of them I absolutely crushed my distance PB, and broke both my 10 and 5km PBs and only came home because I had other things to do and a two hour run is probably enough when you’ve got so much else on your plate.
I couldn’t run without the watch. I like having the data, I like to look at my splits and I like to know how far and how fast. But, I think not looking at it while I’m on the road is great for me. There are three weeks to go until the Run to the Beat half-marathon and I’m throwing my carefully constructed training plan out the window. I’m going to run how I feel because that’s how I love to run.
And, it doesn’t matter if I run over or under the two hour mark, or the two and a half hour mark. It’s my first half so it’s a guaranteed PB, but even that doesn’t matter. What matters is tonight I remembered that I run because I love to run, not to crush PBs or to beat anyone but myself. I run because running is fun, and running is freedom, and running is deliciously selfish, and running is a friend.
I run because I love to run. There doesn’t need to be anything else.