I was excited to wake up this morning knowing it was finally Friday. Sometimes weeks are too long at work.
I have a 19 mile run scheduled for tomorrow and there are times when the thought of running 19 miles kills me. I sometimes doubt I can make it that far by myself, even though I have logged longer miles than that by myself and do it so often. There are Saturday mornings (also known as my long run days) when I just want to stay in bed a bit longer and sleep in past 7 a.m., but I never can because there’s miles to run. Sometimes it’s hard.
I decided running is a lot like a marriage. Sometimes it’s hard and not so pretty. There’s lost toenails, hills to climb, wet, windy runs, injuries, sore muscles and the list goes on. In marriage there’s fights, negativity, tears, offenses, and hurt feelings. Sometimes it’s fun and you can’t wait for the next race, next PR, or new piece of running gear (or in marriage terms next kiss, new house, new adventure).
I have found that just like in marriage, when the run gets tough, you have to find your passion again and ignite it.
Here are my tips for Keeping the Passion for Running:
- Remember why you fell in love in the first place – In marriage when you feel like you could kill your spouse for forgetting to pick up milk at the store (okay maybe not that intense), remembering what you love about them helps (all those amazing qualities). The same goes for running. When you have a bad run because of an achy knee or the crazy snow and you curse the name of running, remember why you started in the first place. Remember all the reasons you love running (great sunsets, sunrises, friends, races, etc.). I guarantee you’ll find more reasons for running than against, just as you would in your marriage.
- Remember there’s “seasons” of running that are ever changing – Sometimes we go through the bad seasons and I don’t mean the weather (although for some winter is considered that bad season). There’s seasons of running with disappointment, injuries and slower times. Then there’s seasons of PR’s, new adventures, fresh legs and new strength. The seasons are ever changing, and won’t last forever. So when you are in that season of injury or disappointment remember it’s just a season and “summer” is just around the corner. Injuries won’t last forever!! (In marriage there’s seasons with laughter and happiness, and with tears and hurt). These seasons make us stronger.
- Make a list of all the things you love about running – This ties into No. 1. Refer to the list when “runs” get tough and you feel like giving up. I guarantee the list will inspire you and motivate you, and will continue to grow. Same applies to marriage!!
- Be Adventurous/Spontaneous – In marriage spontaneity can ignite passion real fast. Having a get away planned or just getting out of the house for a hike, unplanned, brings excitement and a break from the regular. For running, trying a new route or hitting the trails and exploring new scenery, adds a whole new level of enjoyment. It breaks from routine, and breaking from routine can help any relationship!! Try a race in a place you’ve never been or drive to another part of town to run. Maybe get up earlier to drive to a trail head and run the trails. Break from tradition and try running on new gound!!
- Spend Time with Just the Run: In our tech savy world, we have technology everywhere we are and sometimes we need to unplug. In marriage spending time with just your spouse, iPhones away, TV off and Twitter on hold, is a must and healthy. It allows us to truly engage with one another. Same goes for running!! Unplug. Leave the phone and Garmin at home. Just listen to your body. Leave the pressures of work, time, and beating a certain pace behind. Just you and the run.
- Don’t be Afraid of Mountains and to Dream: When we allow fear into any area of our life, we put up walls, blocking people and things we love out. Don’t be afraid to dream big, and maker fear smaller. Dreaming keeps a passion alive, and pushes us over those mountains when that little voice is telling us we can’t. If we fear a new race distance, we begin to let our passion die because we fear we can’t do it, so why bother trying. Dream bigger and climb higher!!
- Don’t make comparisons: Comparing any aspect of our lives to another’s doesn’t do anything but make us feel worse. Comparing your marriage to another’s only serves to point out faults and the less than pretty qualities of your spouse. Same goes for running; comparing your race times, distances and form to others robs your joy and passion for running. We’ve heard it before: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparison is also the thief of our passion.
Who would have thought that running and marriage would be so similar. When I was thinking about keeping the passion for running, I immediately thought of marriage and how I would keep passion alive in marriage. Same principles apply. Fancy that!!
I challenge you to ignite the fire again and if you needed some gas or wood to do so, I hope I helped.
Until next time Be Whole and Be Fit!!
How do you keep the passion for running alive?