My friend Courtney recently asked me what I wanted to get from my runs- Did I want to improve my times, (because she thinks I am faster than I think I am) or did I want to run for distance. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I think what I want from my runs is to KNOW at the end of each run, that I did my best. What’s my best though, this is where I struggle.
Last Monday, I was scheduled to do a 2 mile run, easy pace, routine… or not so much. I was tired & winded & was relieved I only had a 2 miler. Wednesday was a scheduled 5 miler, that turned into a 7.4 miler. I kept thinking, DISTANCE or TIME. It was HOT & super windy & my snot was running outta my nose- SIDEWAYS! Oh, this reminds me, I really need to wash the hat I ran in that day, there’s still snot on the bill. IDK HOW!!! I just know there is!
For that Wed. run, I was feeling good & thought I would zip on over to the high school, since my 14 yr old was playing soccer. I had this brilliant idea that I would run over there, then he & I would walk hand in hand, arm in arm, orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr at least in the same proximity of one other. I was WRONG on all counts. When I got to his practice, I asked if I could have some of his water b/c I was currently in the midst of dying of heat stroke. He didn’t appreciate that. I asked if he wanted to walk home with me, to which he was quick to follow up & answer, “I just spent 4 hours playing soccer. I’m tired & I’ll get a ride home.” WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!? But, what about my idea of walking hand in hand the 1 ½ miles home? Well, there was some walking alright… by ME! I was trucking along again once leaving the school, until about a mile left until home. At that point I had a terrible blister on my heel (WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY) & was more tired than I had realized. I stripped my shoes off & walked in my socks for about ½ mile. On that same run, my shirt was too big & had a stupid ribbon on it. Hey! It was $2, I couldn’t pass it up. Anyway, said ribbon was annoying me, so I yanked it off, making the shirt even bigger around the chest. Whoops! My tank sleeve kept falling off my shoulder, which was quickly making me realize, my run was entering into a land of doom. I was feeling a bit defeated & a lot ghetto at this point, sideways snot leftover on the rim of my hat, shirt all torn & falling off, shoeless Joe Jackson like & tired. I kept thinking… if only I had gone for time, instead of distance…….. or distance, instead of time…………. Anyway, I sat on the side of the road, (thankfully the man mowing went around me) collected myself, swept off my dirty socks, put my shoes back on & trucked it back home- finishing that last mile in 9:03!!!!! Now, I think at that point, I was just determined to get home.
Saturday’s run was supposed to be a 9 miler. It was a 3.22er… with 3 of those miles ringing in at 8:06 per mile. I was tired, hot, sweaty but pleased.
So, this all brings me back to what I want to get out of my runs, time or distance. I think, for me, it varies. But what doesn’t vary is the fact I want to do my own personal best each time I run. I don’t know what that means quite yet. I think some days, it’s 8:06 per mile. Some days it’s the longer distances. Some days my best is wiping off the side ways snot. And then, some days, my best is lacing up my shoes & simply walking out the door.
Tomorrow, I’ll run again & maybe I’ll be one step closer to my best. Happy running y’all!