Just Go.


Even if it's 12 degrees outside and the wind chill is -1.

Just go.

Even if you're not sure how well your morning coffee is sitting in your stomach.

Just go.

Even if all your muscles and joints don't feel 100% warmed up and ready.

Just go.

Even if you have all day and could easily put it off until later.

Just go.

Even if your couch and your fuzziest blanket are calling your name.

Just go.

Even if they're calling your name REALLY loudly.

Just.

Go.


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These were the thoughts I had getting myself out the door for my run on Monday. It shouldn't have been that hard to get motivated: it was the second anniversary of my first marathon. I like milestones. Or at least I always have. I've always been one to remember significant dates, and since I started running, I've used my workouts as a way to commemorate them by running a distance that in some way correlates to or symbolizes the date.

On Monday I could have mapped out a 2.62 mile route, or somehow figured out a way to incorporate the numbers 1 and 18 (for January 18), but I didn't. I didn't want to. Would you believe me if I told you I actually had to look up to find out if the date was January 18 or 19? There was a time when 1/18 was burned into my brain and now, 2 years later, I can't even tell you the exact date without looking it up first.

It's actually hard to believe it's only been 2 years since I ran my first marathon. Those two years feel like a lifetime, not necessarily because of what I've accomplished as an endurance athlete in that time, but because of how I've changed and who I've become. In that time frame I've done so many things I'm proud of, and most of them happened when I wasn't in running shoes. I've taken chances. I have fallen. I have gotten back up again.

I didn't realize until Monday that this is a mistake I've been making for not just the last 2 years, but the last almost-5 since I became a runner. I've been hanging on to what I've known of myself as a runner for the last almost 5 years, without giving myself the opportunity to grow and change. Without recognizing that who I am, as a person, has grown and changed over those 5 years, and that of course that affects my identity as a runner. The runner I am is just an extension of the person I am.

I think that since I've only ever had one identity as a runner, I didn't really know what to do when it started to shift. It was too scary to think that I might not care about PRs. Or pushing myself to a new distance. Or celebrating a significant date in my running journey. Those are the things that have always been important to me, but they aren't anymore. I used to need a goal to look forward to, to keep me motivated. I still like having those goals, but I've gotten too comfortable putting the cart before the horse, feeling like I should have already accomplished my goals without putting in the work, and not celebrating the everyday.

On Monday, I gave myself the long overdue permission to start a new chapter. I'll never ever forget where I came from; I'll always remember the feeling of running a mile for the first time just as fondly as running 26.2 miles for the first time. They're the same feeling, the feeling of the first time, and I am tired of looking back on those firsts and lamenting over the fact that I will never feel that again. Instead I want to look forward. I have big plans for this year and it's time I started acting like it. I can appreciate my past and that it's gotten me this far, but looking back won't get me where I'm going.

I am also tired of caring about the time on the clock. More accurately, I'm tired of artificially caring about the time on the clock. I tell myself I care about pushing myself to new PRs, but I don't. Not really. Every PR I've run, I've crossed the finish line knowing that I ran a great race, and that I felt great doing it. Maybe not mentally and physically at the same time, but at any given point during the race, at least one of those things felt good. And that is what I care about. That is what has made my PRs so sweet. Do I want to have that feeling again? Absolutely! But I'm not willing to sacrifice feeling good mentally or physically to get there. To be honest, I've far exceeded every time I could have ever dreamt I'd see. At this point, there is no time on a clock that I could see that would make sacrificing a good, happy race experience worth the cost. Don't get me wrong, I still want to work toward PRs, I just want to take the meaning and the motivation away from the time clock and put it on the experience.

But mostly, from now on, I just want to go.

However far, however fast.

To just go.

13 comments :

  1. It's so encouraging to see how running is so much more than just growing physically (or faster/longer distances). I saw this post on instagram about how everyone is preparing for a blizzard, but people training for runs are just thinking about how they'll get in their long run with the weather, or something along those lines, haha.

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  2. I love everything about this. I'm sitting here with my sprained ankle propped up, watching the snow fall outside, wishing I could go for a run - which is obviously not possible. Ha.

    Sometimes I think I strive to much to always be faster (as AS FAST AS someone else) even when that's not what makes me happy. I like to run because of how it makes me feel not because I want to be fast. Once I get back on my feet, I want to run for the love of it and not for the constant need to compare and/or improve.

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  3. Such a great motivating post on continuing forward and keeping up the momentum. This could be applied to many areas of life and not just necessarily running, so thank-you for sharing!

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  4. I love this post! I think it's nice to remember the past and where we started, but I like the idea of looking forward. I am definitely one who will dwell on the past - wondering if I made the right decisions, etc. But the past is the past!

    PS: I have a workout scheduled today that I'm waiting around to go run because it's cold and slightly snowing. I know this is ridiculous considering what I ran in this past weekend, but...I'd like some warmer weather!

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  5. This is a great post. I'm in a very similar situation. I feel like I'm starting all over again, less so because I'm choosing to, than because injury forced me to...but this is a good way to look at it...that this is just starting a new chapter!

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  6. love this post. it took me a long time to get over feeling sad about the lack of firsts (in life, but especially running), or PRs, especially as I get further away from the PRs I'm not sure I'll ever get close again. It's not worth it to me to hurt myself or hate running, I just want to enjoy it. Basically everything you said. If it's not a good experience, the time on the clock is worthless.

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  7. I love this... you're so right - its just about moving forward... just go! Even when you dont feel like it.

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  8. This!!! I love what you said about needing to stop looking back and just go. To allow yourself to grow and change. You are always so motivating!

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  9. Wow, yeah, it is hard to believe it's been two years since then—and I didn't even know you yet then! I just kind of feel like you've always been this amazing human who can do incredible things. You have, I'm certain, you just used to do different incredible things ;)

    Anyway. I'm really happy for you, because this turning of this page must be so freeing. Your past victories and milestones will always be there and will always support you when you need a leg up to get where you're going next, but you don't need them to be paramount in your life and story anymore. That's so great. Because you're going to write so many new and amazing chapters in that storybook this year alone, and they'll stand wonderfully as their own tales without being measured against previous ones.

    Love this, and love you, and will love watching you fly this year.

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  10. yep. sometimes it's good to reflect and see how far you've come but for the most part, i just keep looking forward and keep my eye on the prize!

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  11. Even as a non-runner, I could not agree more with the idea of "just going." Starting is oftentimes the hardest part of doing something: whether starting a new goal, a project, a personal challenge, etc. And while it's good to remember where you started (because now you're here!), it's also good to make changes and let go of things that no longer serve a purpose or bring you happiness. Well-stated!

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  12. You're cute. I should probably right that whole first part done and start working out..I am really talented at making up excuses to never do anything lol. I don't even run so I don't know what most of this means, but good for you for doing what's best for you. Anything you love should really be about the experience right!

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    Replies
    1. *write that whole first part down. I NEVER proof read a comment lol, sorry!

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