Monday, June 8, 2009

Confessions of a Runner

The music, “Eye of the Tiger,” that played in my head as I ran had been replaced by, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling,” by the Righteous Brothers.  You know the song:


…You've lost that lovin' feeling,
Whoa, that lovin' feeling,
You've lost that lovin' feeling,
Now it's gone...gone...gone...wooooooh.

I confess.  I had lost my enthusiasm for running.  I’ve struggled to wake up in the early morning for a run.  What used to be my time of reflection has turned into apprehension.  I, indeed, lost that loving feeling.  The good news is that I know what my problem is.  That leads me to my second confession.


I am obsessed by race time.  Every running event had to be a PR (personal record).  I always needed to beat my previous time.  My drive for self-improvement was an all-consuming obsession with constant improvement.  And it didn’t stop there.  My training runs ended up being a race.  I refused to let people pass me and I put pressure on myself to try to catch up to the person in front of me.  My competitive impulse resulted in weariness.  I’ve been pushing myself too hard and losing sight of why I run and what I love about running.


My recent run at the Avenue of the Giant’s Half Marathon helped me to re-evaluate myself.  I ran with a sprained Achilles tendon and there was no sense in me trying to PR since I knew my foot wasn’t at 100%.  This forced me to slow down.  Slowing down my pace allowed me to take the time to enjoy the splendor of the giant redwood trees, the scent of the dewy forest, the sound of shoes crunching on the damp asphalt, and the feel of the cool breeze on my face.  It reminded me of what I loved about running.  And thinking about my honorees reminded me of why I am running.  The chorus to the “Eye of the Tiger” returned to my head:


…Risin' up, straight to the top 
Have the guts, got the glory 
Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop 
Just a man and his will to survive… 


My passion came back, because I cleared my mind and took the time to absorb my surroundings.  I have my Achilles to thank for that.  So, when you start to lose sight of what you loved about running, slow down and take time to reflect.



Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going to fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ~Eddie Cantor


1 comment:

  1. Brigit Das said:
    so true Romelle and I have just been through something similar and it is only since I stopped checking my watching and worrying about the time and pace and getting past the person in front, and slowed down that I realise again why I run, I run because I love it, I run because I consider it a gift and I cherish it, I run because I can! Happy Running Romelle, hope to see you on the trails one day ;) x



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