“Take it Easy”

It has been quite a week. Last Sunday, I laced up and joined 40,000+ runners to take a 26.2 tour through the streets of Chicago. Hot, crowded, and not feeling the greatest, combined with an unusual and light training season, this was one of the tougher marathons I’ve run. I did my best to take it easy on myself and try to enjoy the ride, and was pleased to finish in 4:03 and. Best of all, while I was sore that day and the next, it wasn’t bad. In fact, I even went running again just two days after the marathon. Usually it takes me about a week to get back at it.

Slow, steady, and happy

Then, on Saturday, I hoisted a 2:30 finish time sign and paced the annual Fargo Mini Marathon half marathon through the parks and trails of Fargo and Moorhead. Chilly, a few great runners by my side, and feeling really good, it was a great run for me. The best part was I paced a first-timer who was smiling, happy, and strong throughout the entire race. I was so excited for her.

These experiences made me realize something. Most of us, especially veteran runners, show up to race day with every intention of pushing ourselves, always looking for a new PR. If we get it, we’re often greeted with extra post-race pain or sometimes a longer recovery window. If we don’t get it, we’re often left feeling disappointed and like we failed, even though we trained hard and finished the race.

I went into both these races knowing I wasn’t going to push hard, I was going to enjoy them. Halle, the girl who finished her first half, went into it planning to run easy and finish. I think our plans paid off for both of us. A pretty cool way to end a long, tough summer of training and final races of the year!

Have you ever run a race with the intention of simply enjoying it, not trying for a PR? Or do you have every intention of pushing yourself every time you step up to the start line? Comment or tweet me @LindsayIRL.

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