Sometimes we forget about the things that matter most. It seems like the new norm brought on in part by social media, sensationalist news reporting and the ever growing narcissism of our lives is to be focused on others. What others are outraged about, what they have, what they are doing and how they are feeling, to the detriment of our own introspection.
I've fallen victim to this far too often. It struck me this weekend. I had two longer, more intense runs scheduled. One of hills, and the other of a long run. You see, I'm signed up for the Bear 100 at the end of this month and I should be starting to taper. Instead, I'm trying to ramp up my mileage and run up to it.
But for some reason, all I could think about was reading a book on my swing on my yard with the dog...and I didn't know why. I know that if I am to have any chance of succeeding in the race I need to train. I need to focus on cramming these workouts into my already way too busy life (which is extra busy because of all the talking and planning about doing the Bear 100 as well). And somewhere in all that busy-ness, stress, planning, training, straining and logistic-ing....I said fuck it, when home early and read a book on the yard with my dog,
I wonder what this means? am I focusing too much on what other people think? Have I forgotten about what's important? The Bear 100 isn't going anywhere and if I don't care about it enough to train then why am I going? So I find myself at a crossroads. Cancel the flight, enjoy the fall and focus on winter races or spend the next month stressing out about not being ready for the Bear and trying to cram for it.
I think what matters most is allowing myself to change my mind and do the things I want to do. I think when running (not unlike running groups and friendships) feel more like a job than fun it is time to do some self-examining. My mind isn't made up, but I do know what is most important, and I'm definitely starting to steer the ship to that more now. Because it's just running. And running is just a pastime. It shouldn't feel like a work project I fear I won't finish.