Okay, okay, I know that title sounds dramatic. And it is! But guess what, you guys! I have discovered the secret to happiness.
In running, at least. 🙂
I wasn’t planning on working out at all yesterday. I was tired, and honestly, just wanted a lazy day. So that’s exactly what I did all day long – laid around, napped, read, it was glorious.
Then, about an hour after a (big) dinner, I got the urge to run. I knew it wouldn’t be particularly fast considering my full stomach, and I didn’t want to work crazy hard and then not be able to sleep, so I set out for an easy 3 miles.
They were the best 3 miles of my life. (well maybe 2nd after the last 5K of my half marathon)
Unlike my past few runs, as soon as I started moving I just felt free. I didn’t feel any pressure to work super hard or run X splits, and guess what? My average pace ended up being 7 seconds slower than a run I felt like absolute death after. And I 100% attribute that to having no expectations.
Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVE goal setting and working hard to reach a dream. In running, that sometimes requires pushing yourself to run, say, an 8:00 pace when you really don’t want to – because you want a 1:45 half more than short-term comfort.
But when you don’t have a specific goal? Holy man alive is it nice to just relax and smell the roses. I would have been 100% fine if my pace was 2 minutes slower than it was – I truly did not care how fast I went. I was running to run, to feel my heart pumping and the wind in my face.
But the fact that I did run pretty fast (for me) is an obvious indicator that no pressure = success. At least for me. Because the last time I freaked out about a run I ran half my planned distance slower than my half marathon pace. I won’t say I failed, but it wasn’t really a success either.
And what’s even better? I feel TOTALLY reinvigorated with my running now. I’m still sticking to my plan of running whatever, whenever, but now I actually want to be consistent, rather than going back to mainly lifting (which I was honestly considering).
Morale of the story: Just take a chill pill, bro.
With that said, though, I’m off to do some lifting this morning! 100lb squat, here I come. 🙂