Then I decided to run a 5K and felt like I should be doing "real" training -- interspersing speed intervals with distance work and whatnot. And that was fun at first. It made me feel like a real runner and forced me to push myself out of my comfort zone. However, the longer this went on (read: about a week)(I have the attention span of a gnat on meth, I swear) the more anxious it made me about my upcoming race. I kept thinking I should be progressing faster and hitting better numbers, and suddenly this whole running thing began to feel like WORK. And anyone who knows me knows that I am the furthest thing from a workaholic. In fact, I'm sort of allergic to anything resembling work.
With my recent medically induced hiatus and my unsuccessful attempt to jump back into hardcore training followed by two days of enforced rest (yesterday and the day before, just too busy), I've had a lot of time to reflect on why in the heck I'm doing this in the first place. I wanted to run because I wanted to run, period. For years I didn't think I could run with fibromyalgia, and I wanted to see if I could, and then I did, and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to run a 5K to prove to myself that I could, and I decided to publicly document my training leading up to the 5K to show other fibromyalgia sufferers that it was possible and to give them hope that someday they could be active again. My only goals when I first decided to run a 5K were to finish and to not be last. Then I started getting fancy ideas in my head about finishing under a certain time, and running mile-long stretches without stopping, and ... well, see above re: WORK. In short, it stopped being fun.
So today I got back on the treadmill. I left my phone, with its fitness apps and its amped-up playlist, on the charger and instead grabbed my old mp3 player with my original fitness playlist (a mix of classic rock, '80s dance tunes and all kinds of random stuff). I ran during the songs that made me feel like running and walked (and sang along, and snapped my fingers) during the songs that made me feel like walking. I didn't watch the clock or my distance or any of that -- I just ran (and walked). It was so much fun! That's why I started doing this. And, I've decided, that's how I want to keep doing it.
I'm still running the 5K. I know I can finish, and I really don't think I'll be last. But now I have a new goal: to have fun with it.
Speaking of fun, here were my two Laughs of the Day (or maybe Laughs of the Run would be more accurate):
- I did look at my time/distance when I was done, before turning off the treadmill, and it turned out I covered 1.8 miles in 31 minutes. That is a faster pace than any I ran the whole time I was doing my "real" training!
- Right toward the end of my cool-down, "Road to Nowhere" by The Talking Heads came on. While I was on the treadmill, which is literally a road to nowhere. Oh, the irony!