This isn’t necessarily to do with travel or Maverick, but I wanted to share with you some realizations I came to while on my run during my trip to Monterey.
I do not want to run competitively anymore. There is a lot of pressure in that. For me, running is one of the activities that help my mental health. Not being able to run in the summer heat of Fresno, explains why I tend to struggle mentally/emotionally in the Summer. But I have realized that it is possible to run for my health but also for enjoyment. Over the last few years, my focus when running has been to break records. I would get down on myself if I ran a pace over 10:00/mile. As I ran this morning, taking in the fresh air and view, I noticed that all the runners who I passed were not necessary running “fast”. They were going at a consistent pace for great distances and enjoying their surroundings. I realized that this is what I need to be doing now. I needed to stop “trying” and start “enjoying”. I finished 5k and sat by the ocean, tears streaming down my face. For me, this is a breakthrough. I put so much pressure on myself because I thought running was about being fast, increasing speed and breaking records.
This doesn’t mean I won’t still run races, it just means that I no longer feel the desire or need to be on a podium, breaking records, or running as fast as I can. It means I will be more selective in my race choices. I will pick races based on location. Pair my running with my love for travel. In October, I am running 2 races. My first 5k trail race in Spokane, WA and the Heavenly Half Marathon in Auberry/Tollhouse. I plan to run these for the enjoyment and scenery. I don’t need to make top 10 for a half marathon, I’ve done that. I don’t need to make a podium, I’ve done that. I don’t need to run a sub 2 hour half, I’ve done that. I’m just going to run and enjoy.
This realization doesn’t come as a shock. A week ago, I dropped out of my first full marathon, CIM in Sacramento. The anxiety and pressure it was causing and the inability for me to train in Fresno during the heat was adding to my mental distress. Luckily, I was able to find another runner to take over my spot and recouped my expense. Does this mean I’ll never run a full. Not at all. My original plan for my first and likely only full had always been to run it in my birthplace, Chester England. I plan to go back to that goal. Again, pairing running with travel!
As my Mum pointed out, I have many new adventures that I have come to enjoy; hiking, kayaking, and now cycling. Pairing all these with my love of traveling seems like the best way forward as I continue this new chapter of my life. Now, I no longer feel anxiety in this realization, I feel excitement.