Over the last 6 months, I’ve had some fun with my running. In particular, I’ve toed the line at a variety of distances in a number of different area codes.
Competition aside, I also made the tough decision to move back to Norman, at least temporarily. This means I don’t get to see my girlfriend and our dogs quite as often as I’d like. Furthermore, my training has been sometimes shaped and modified by the new locale. However, I’ve benefitted from more training partners in Norman and probably been pushed to ensure I’m a little fresher at times when I’m going to train with others. The last year in Stillwater, I probably ran one of the highest annual volumes of my life. Probably because of that, I tended to be a little flat a lot of the time, but I’m confident it served a purpose. Now I’m striving to do a few things differently, and at the very least, I’ve enjoyed some aspects of the training process more.
I suppose that is the point of this post. I do see a lot of varied personalities at the races. I’m sometimes surprised by the attitudes of some of the people running and participating in races. I know as well as anybody that running serves different purposes for everyone. Even with the competitors finishing towards the front of the pack, I am surprised by the disinterest in the sport and the disinterest in the uniqueness of some great races and courses. Part of my motivations for partaking in this sport is the possibility for travel and seeing new places. It was clear to me that despite my own best intentions for getting faster, at some point I was losing some of my zeal for racing and the process itself. Once I came to grips with the fact that my own personal motives for taking part in the sport were dulled by strictly worrying about only time and place constraints, my enjoyment of the effort necessary to perform has been increasingly heightened.
So my advice to those who want it is, find a way to have a good attitude on race day. If you’re making excuses and taking the process for granted, then why bother making the trip in the first place? I’ve noticed a trend. The people that are enjoyable and interesting to be around are often the ones who are also successful in meeting their particular goals.
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