Among our running group, there is a saying that the best part of running is afterwards. While I believe this is true in the context of racing and training where the pressure is to do one’s best, I wonder if and when running itself can be the best part.
Take today’s long run for instance. The schedule calls for 11 miles – all easy pace (9:00 to 9:45). The weather is gorgeous, not too humid and not too hot. As much as I tried to take that into consideration and enjoy the run, it is still 11 miles. Not exactly a walk in the park.
For the most part, I focus on maintaining a running tempo of 180 strides per minute. This cadence keeps me running at a constant effort, not constant pace. And depends on the terrains my splits vary up and down.
My times are 11:33, 8:33, 10:22, 9:41, 9:17, 9:11, 9:08, 9:47, 7:35, 8:55, 10:49 for a total of 1 hour 43 minutes.
For the duration of a movie, I ran solo. Had I run with someone, might it be more enjoyable? Possibly. A shared experience certainly could enhance the experience. Or perhaps focus more on the weather instead of my running tempo? But those would be different from enjoying the running itself.
Will I ever be able to enjoy the run for its own sake? Like an artist enjoys his/ her work? I would like to think yes. Yes that I eventually would enjoy the process of running, the journey, and not the destination.
For now I will stick with the destination.