I am bad with rules. One of the many reasons why running has stuck longer than any other “sport” for me. I am also not one for unnecessary effort, and with running I only let myself down, so I only have to put the amount of effort in that I want to right at that moment. Running and laziness may seem like they don’t go together, but bear with me for a moment.
When I started running in 2011, I joined Team Challenge PNW and trained for the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon. One of the great things about starting from couch with Team Challenge is that I learned all the rules. But I was busy following the rules.
I spent a ton of time on the Internet looking for advice. I stressed myself out. I followed advice and checklists. I worried when I was under trained. I followed the rules. Rules that worked for some and didn’t always work for me.
Fast forward to 2015 and I’ve run races with a lovely wine buzz, worn brand new clothes on race day, ate and drank everything the week before the race, and generally failed to train. The only thing that has really changed is I learned to listen to my body and learned to trust myself. I have learned how to train without injury and have fun at races.
Now I laugh when people tell me I’m doing it wrong or complain about someone else not doing it right. See, that’s why running works for me. I don’t have to do it your way. I don’t have to do it their way. I don’t have to do it at all. It never hurts anyone. And if I want to run a race without training, it only hurts me. If I want to eat a huge meal an hour before race, it only hurts me. If I want to stop and pee 900 times in a race, it only hurts me. If I want to go back to bed because it’s raining and I’m lazy, it only hurts me. If I want to walk during a race, it only hurts me. And it only hurts if I let it! And except those aching muscles when I undertrain in Spring every year, I’m not feeling very hurt lately!
Here’s the deal: Every one is different and has different goals, not just for races but for life. Judge me if you will, but I’m doing my thing, my way.