As a runner, do you find yourself defining yourself by your speed? Do you describe yourself (out loud or even in your own head) as a “fast runner” or a “slow runner” or a “back of the packer”? Do you have certain expectations of what you can do at certain distances, ie. I run a xx:xx 5k or I’m going to run an easy 5 miler at xx:xx pace?
I do that. All.the.time. And it’s wrong (for me, right now.)
Why? Because the paces I set in my head are based on past performances, often on ones pre-injury. They don’t take into account my current fitness level, a summer of slacking on the running, or the weather outside my front door.
To combat this, I’ve started running a number of my runs “naked.” I leave my Garmin at home and just run for time. But I don’t enjoy that. I NEED (no, really, it is a NEED) the information I get from the Garmin. I NEED to know how far I went. I NEED to know my pace.
Since my NEED to know and my EGO seem to be in direct conflict these days (as in, “no way can I stand to run THAT slowly”), I’ve decided my ego just has to go. My goal right now is to rebuild my endurance. I need to get back to running 5 times a week (instead of once LOL). And since my body has decided it’s injury prone since I turned 40, I have to treat it nicer.
I’ll let my ego back out of the box the next time I need to do speedwork or am trying to PR at a race, but for the moment, I’m going to ignore the pace on my Garmin and just put in the time on my feet.
Even if that pace makes me want to cry.