No this is not a spam blog post. Just bear with me. I think I have emerged from the ashes of the Copenhagen Marathon a new runner. Somewhere over the course of the last few months, my running has become more about proving something and feeding my ego than it should be. Running is something I have turned to for many years for fun stress relief. And the way it gradually became the biggest source of stress in my life is a shame. I remember saying to SR at one point that every time I hear the beep of the garmin starting, even when I'm not about to run, I get a panic type of PTSD reaction. Don't get me wrong, I still believe in running intervals, but it doesn't have to be with so much associated stress, does it? I would be lying if I said it had nothing to do with reporting my times on the blog. It has been a motivator, but has made a bit of a monster out of me as well.
And sometimes I cheated on my old love, running. Because all of my running sessions needed to serve a purpose and were always associated with a time/times to report, I began to enjoy swimming and cycling more than running. They were my times to just be happy. Realizing my bikini line was inadequately shaven while standing at the pool edge, bright red circle imprints around my eyes from my goggles and getting a young moth stuck in the medial canthus of my eye while cycling at high speeds. These were marks of pride and moments of joy.
And maybe the reason I have run more miles barefoot than with shoes since the marathon is it is stress-free (and also because I don't notice my hip feels injured when I run barefoot).
At the start line of the Copenhagen Marathon stood two girls. They had very similar 10k, 15k and half marathon PRs. They knew each other only peripherally, yet enough to be aware of what each others' time goals were. They both set goals which were unrealistic. But it was pride that drove them to their demise. I saw the other girl after the half marathon turn around point. She had gone through the half marathon in around 1:34 and, if you've ever seen a nauseated ghost, this is how she looked. And as the other girl (me), waved to her and forced a smile, I realized I felt like she looked. We would both be forced to drop because our egos pushed us too hard.
What I have to keep reminding myself is there is a difference between proving and improving. The first is futile. I love the story of the mythological Phoenix, who bursts into flames and dies only to be born again. A bit dramatic for a DNF in the Copenhangen Marathon? Well, yes. But nothing wrong with having a new outlook. If I can't enjoy my training and racing, it's pointless. The next two races on our schedule are the 24Run relay in Holte in about 10 days and the Storbælt Naturmarathon (instead of Aabenraa. Thanks, Lars!) the week after. If nothing else, they will be fun. Especially because I get to run with this guy (yeah that's my man nearing the end of the CPH marathon):
Now if you are the first to explain the title, you get a virtual high five. Wow! So there ARE some good giveaways here once in a while.
Running Song of the Day: All the Right Moves by One Republic