living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Running ... just to run

Ever since the summer of 2006, it seems I've been locked into the pattern of what to do next after a big race. While I still have thoughts on what to do over the next few weeks, I want to take another week before officially deciding.

Last week -- for the first time in a very long time -- I essentially took off from running just to do it. I was not physically injured after the race, but I really needed to get my mind away from it. When I went out for walks with my dog, I jogged a little bit here and there, but all told, it was probably only about a mile or so. I had a whirlwind of a trip to Ohio this past weekend, so there was no running then. Until tonight, I have had no urge to put my Garmin on. It was a planned week with extremely limited running and it was a welcome break.

Tonight I was ready for a run, but I didn't realize how early it got dark, so I only got in 2.5 miles. It was a nice run despite the humidity, and it's probably a wise thing to be light on the miles the first few times back out since the race just to make sure everything is in its right place. It felt good to run without thinking about what's next. In my last post I said that I would have things figured out by now, but I really want to run this week for the enjoyment of running. I will begin to prepare myself as if I'll run a long-distance race in a few weeks, but I don't want to commit 100 percent to it just yet. I don't have any big reasons other than the fact that it was liberating last week to do nothing, and this week I want to feel liberated from worrying about a race.

This is the first time in a long time that I've been able to let myself feel this way and it's really ... to steal my own words ... liberating. When I started running in 2004, I got involved in a lot of small and short community races. I ran just to run and raced to challenge myself. While races are still very challenging, I've gotten distracted along the way. I said this a few weeks ago, but this summer running has become fun for me again. I want that continue even if I do get focused on bigger races down the road. If it's not fun, then why do it? I hope that helps you understand why I'm not committing to anything just yet. I have to keep having fun.