Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fear of missing out

When I started running ten years ago, I became passionate about the sport.  And  then I became passionate about racing.  It's all I thought about and all I talked about (other than my kids!).  I looked up monthly race schedules and traveled all over the Midwest to fill up my time with racing.  I planned family vacations alongside half marathons and enjoyed every minute.  And if a popular event was local - I just HAD to register.  If I wasn't running the iconic Crazylegs Classic or the Madison Half Marathon, I was missing out.  I had to be at every start line, participate in every running event, network with other runners, cross every finish line.  I wasn't a true runner if I wasn't out there participating in everything running outlet that was offered - especially if they were local.
It wasn't until I was chatting with some other runners recently, that I realized things have really changed for me.  I was asked what I was training for.  This?  No.  That?  Um, no.  Well, you must be running this?  Nope.  I listed off only two half marathons and a full marathon that I'm registered for this summer.  That's it.  For some, that may seem like a lot.  But, for me that is pretty sparse.  Yet, I'm still running all of the time.  And I'm enjoying it.  I'm just not racing quite so much.  I find I'm focusing more on longer-distance events and filling my weekends up with training instead of racing.
I've realized over the past year or two that being a runner doesn't necessarily mean that you need to have a rigid race schedule.  I get just as much enjoyment out of running for myself, by myself or with those close to me.  I am currently coaching six classes per week and help other individuals start or continue their journey through my training programs.  I've been putting in plenty of solo miles (40 miles this past weekend!) or am enjoying running dates with my husband.  I love mixing it up with different routes and trails and discovering new parts of my town.  Starting and ending at a new restaurant or chic coffee shop are also great perks and motivators.
I'm over this "fear of missing out" attitude that I have identified with for way for so long.  I'm not missing out on anything.
After all, it's the journey and the training that develops you and makes you a dedicated runner - it's not just that shiny medal around your neck.

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