Running – Away From Something Or Towards Better?

Forever the lone wolf...

Forever the lone wolf… Photo Kent Steen Handlos

I haven’t been writing about running in a long, long time. But my move made me think the whole thing in a new way.

When you’ve been running as alone as I have, it’s a huge change to have people around you doing what you love and find peace from. And I’m finding that really difficult.

One of the main things for me when I moved was that I would finally be able to run with friends and other people, to get better as a runner and push myself a bit more, without forgetting the fun in it all. Well, I don’t think things have gone really like I thought.

But when I moved, I didn’t realize, as you always forget the pure stress of all the new, that my feelings and how I take running as a stress release will change too. I have been running for quite long for the fun of it and at times pushing myself that tad more and seeing some changes in myself. But I’ve also been running completely alone and that has made me take those moments as almost a bit holy, my time. Running with others for me is not only about getting used to different pace or having people around me. It’s about sharing something that is my savior with others, in a way that doesn’t really feel comfortable. I have to be willing to compromise in a thing that is so important part of my journey and a way to heal myself. And to be honest, I’m not sure if I want that. That might sound really weird but still.

Just as our lives move forward, we use running in different ways to deal with different situations. I’ve used it as a superficial way to lose weight, to run away from pain, to ease stress, to tire myself, to ease the mess in my head, to remember why I even am here, to make me fall in love with myself, and so many different ways. And I’ve pushed myself too much with the pressure of others, the type that actually comes from yourself, to a limit that I have injured myself and really realized why and how much I love running, when I couldn’t do it.

Lately I’ve been running way more than I used to, not always even sure why. It wasn’t like someone was making me do it. Of course, yes, I have my next Ultra race in just couple of weeks, so it would be nice to feel good about that. But I don’t want to run if it feels like a chore that I need to do, not something I want to do. The moment it feels like shit, I will take a break and ask myself what’s really going on. No interest in doing something that doesn’t in the end feel fun.

I’ve written before about how we should stop being so concentrated on the pace, or the finish times or how many kilometers we train per week, in the end none of those matter. And they can also make some of us feel like shit, so please stop. Some can even be too intimidated for entering the whole fun of running because of that pressure. And with saying this all, I don’t mean that I don’t respect people who are in to training hard and putting the work, but they also have to respect the people that have different approach to the whole thing. Not everyone wants to PR all the time, some just want to run and have fun, if the times improve while at it that’s a bonus, but seriously it just doesn’t matter.

So yes, I don’t have any idea how much I train every week, I do track my runs with a watch, but still I couldn’t give you any kind of answer about my week kilometers. I just run. I don’t have a plan, I try to follow one and always find myself doing what feels best for me. I want to improve but not with the cost of running becoming something I don’t even want to do.

Now, after running in a familiar place for the last 9-10 months, I’m in a situation where everything is new all the time. And if that wouldn’t be exhausting in general, it’s in running too. I don’t know where to run and not have to think at some point where the heck I am. So I’ve been definitely missing the way you can run when you just know where you are and where to go.

Also, I’ve really pushed myself in running with others, but for some reason it just doesn’t feel right. I’m sorry, maybe it’s my introverted self, but my max seems to be one to two people. When there’s more, I start feeling this pressure of being able to run faster and this and that, and I hate that feeling! There’s few people here that I absolutely love to run with, because we don’t have to talk all the time and it’s still comfortable. They are not in a hurry with the pace and run for the same reasons I do. To clear our heads and be in peace.

Yes, I also know that I’ve been here only for couple of weeks and my mind might change about having more people around me, but as of now with all the other life stuff around me, couple might be my max.

To be honest, I don’t know anything better than to run next to someone you are so comfortable with that you just run in silence, your steps are in sync and it’s this zen like moment. Then even the fact that you might be pushing yourself a bit more than normally, doesn’t feel bad. Or you don’t think if the distance is too much. But that doesn’t really happen with that many. So maybe that makes it better. It’s not some convenience store bag of chips, it’s special.

So, yeah I’m not a big fan of fast pace and not enjoying the journey. I respect people who run like that but it’s just not for me.

Another thing that I’ve had to understand here is that when I run, away from pain or exhaustion or confusion, my body usually knows better. And obviously I didn’t realize how exhausted of this all new I was, before I felt physically ill when I was running. I had a run last weekend, where I just wanted to puke. Or like yesterday, when I face planted majestically in a forest, pissed off by the pace of others and the fact that I couldn’t keep up and not feel like shit. So in short, the stress we carry in our minds will come out as a physical reactions through our bodies. Listen to your body, is not a joke. And give yourself time to be sad, hurt, terrified, alone or whatever is needed. Not feeling okay is okay too, just as long it’s not a constant situation.

I guess, at the moment I’m both running away from certain things in my life but at the same time healing myself, and dealing those issues and moving forward and towards better.

PMA ❤IMG_8020

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