I had a bit of a revelation this week.
All year, I’ve been wrangling with something. An unsettled feeling with my running. Feeling like I was forcing things at times. I hired a running coach at the beginning of the year to help me run a Boston qualifying time at the California International Marathon in December. But my heart just hasn’t been in it.
You see – I realized I am a PR addict. Or I was.
I’m now in recovery.
GOAL ORIENTED RUNNER
I’m very goal oriented. When I first discovered running, I became addicted to running faster, trying to PR in every distance. The definition of a fun race was if I ran fast. While that was pretty exhilarating, eventually it got harder and harder to PR. I set my sights on a BQ and I trained really, really hard and failed multiple times. I truly was enjoying the journey though – the training, the high mileage, trying to figure out the best training, making friends who were runners, blogging about running – it all brought me joy too.
Then I had kids. And once I had them, I thought my running goals would pick up back up. I was so deeply in love with running and it was engrained in my identity. I found examples of incredible moms who were PR’ing even under a year after giving birth. But it didn’t seem to work like that for me. I ran my slowest and hardest marathon at the New York Marathon when my daughter was 1 year old. I joined a running club and had a great training cycle and came close to the BQ again soon after, and then got pregnant with my twins.
Leaving my husband with 3 kids under 3 to go run on Saturday or do a group speed workout on Wednesday night was a stressor on my family. I didn’t get the sleep I needed to recover from high mileage, hard runs AND the strength training workouts I loved. Working out at home doing Beachbody workouts was more convenient AND it filled my competitive cup. I love the feeling of completing a program! Not to mention, I really like the way all the strength training makes me look (and I’m not ashamed to admit that!!).
What I’ve found in the last 3.5 years since having my twins is that the joy I have for running is still there – but it doesn’t revolve around PRs anymore.
It’s Not All About the PR
Yet, something in my head kept telling me that to be a “real runner” or to be a good coach, that I had to be chasing PRs.
But what if instead, I am content with other goals while also still loving running?
Goals like completing a workout program from start to finish? Like becoming an Elite Top Beachbody coach and helping others with their goals? Like running a race for fun with friends like I did at the Surf City half in September? Because if I think about it, those 3 things are the things giving me the most joy and excitement right now.
Last month I decided not to run CIM as planned. I signed up for a local holiday half marathon that my friends are doing instead, which sounds a lot more fun! It was a decision that was weighing on my mind for months before I finally made it. I realized that no one cares about my running goals but me so I need to make sure they are serving me & my family. I need to do the things that give ME joy and that as a busy mom of 3 with a career that I love – running PRs or qualifying for Boston just isn’t high priority for me. And that’s OK.
🏃♀️I can get enjoyment, fulfillment and happiness out of running and racing without a PR.
🏃♀️I can still be a runner without needing to get faster.
🏃♀️I can still decide to pursue PRs later.
Does this mean I am not going to train for races? Or that I’m not going to do speed work? No! I enjoy those things. But I also realized I enjoy training for races and running them with friends, not logging 50-60 miles a week mostly alone so that I can make sure my key workouts are executed perfectly.
In fact, I had this revelation yesterday and then today I went out and crushed my 4 x 1 mile speed workout. I gave that workout more than I have in months – because I had released the expectation of what the splits meant. I enjoyed the feeling of working hard for the sake of working hard.
If you’re in a new phase of life & your relationship with running has changed, it’s ok. If you’re confused, conflicted or unsure of where to go with your running – you’re not alone. I encourage you to find the joy and listen to your heart. Do what you and only YOU want to do.
You are not defined by your PRs or pace!
Maybe you’re like me and you want more fulfillment and freedom in your work – becoming a coach has really helped fill so much of my cup & make new friends the way that running used to (and it also benefits my family financially). Learn more about our coaching team of runners (current and former PR addicts, mid-back of the pack runners, recreational runners, #motherrunners & everything in between) & how we fit this business into our already busy lives. Our community is pretty freaking awesome and I think you’ll love it as much as I do.
Learn more about team run the world.