"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Friday, July 1, 2011

Running Vs. Racing

It's been an extremely wet spring and start to summer here in the Willamette Valley. For someone who loathes the rainy, grey, dismal winters, June - September is supposed to be what keeps me here in Oregon. June did not do its part. Tuesday was beautiful however. As I made my way across town through traffic yesterday evening there were handfuls of runners going in all directions. I sat in my car, stopped at the n-teenth red light and just thought, "I really want to run today."

Unfortunately, I couldn't. Or rather, I shouldn't have. Though the soreness from Saturday's Seattle Rock'n'Roll Marathon had worn off, I still had fatigued legs and knew that with another marathon just 6 days away it would be stupid to try to go run any distance. And so I started thinking, which do I enjoy more: running or racing? The answer is both.

I know that if I don't have a goal to work towards in the form of a race that my training will suffer. I suspect that my motivation will drop, days will be missed and training will not be as intense. Hence, in 2010 I ran marathons in June and September and a couple of halfs in November. I started 2011 running a marathon in early March, followed by this current set of three in June/July and then I'll run the St. George Marathon on October 1st. These races are spaced far enough apart to get some rest and recovery in between but not so far apart that I can just ignore my training for weeks at a time.

On the flip side is my love of running. And days like yesterday make me realize just how much I like to run and how difficult it is to feel like I can't because a race is quickly coming up on the calendar. I love to get out and run and think it's pretty cool that I could go out on any day and knock out 10 or 12 or 15 miles without batting an eye. But when it comes to race day, I've paid the money, done the traveling and prepared in every other way to perform as best I can on THAT day. To do that, sacrifices sometimes need to be made along the way, even if one of them is to NOT run.

1 comment:

AJ said...

Reminds me of that crazy girl in Born to Run who never follows any schedules because it takes all the fun out of it. She just wants to get out and run for fun with no structure or limits.