This Runner's Trials

The break-up I didn’t see coming

Posted by runnerstrials

Thank you so much for all of your coping suggestions. My hubby and I are taking a vacation in a few weeks (wohoo!) and I'll definitely look into support groups and possibly counseling. I am feeling much better today because a light bulb went off in my head…

On February 1, 2010, I set out to run for 45 minutes. At this time in my life, I'd been distance running for almost 7 years. But this run was different. This run changed me. This run was my first run using my handy new tool:

Prior to my Garmin, I never cared about my pace or my distance. I ran for time, and assumed I always ran somewhere between a 9:00- 10:00 min/ mile pace. Sure, this strategy seems crazy now, but it got me through a marathon, 6 half marathons, and many other shorter races.

Even though I was a runner who sometimes raced, achieving PRs was not my motivation for running.

I started running because it was a great workout, but that's not why I stuck with it. Running was my therapy. I haven't gone into much detail on the blog (yet), but I've had my fair share of anxiety issues. I've seen therapists and spent years on anti-anxiety meds. Sometimes the medication really helped, but nothing ever worked like a good run did.

And a "good" run certainly wasn't about hitting negative splits. It was about letting go, getting lost in my thoughts, and enjoying the outdoors. I never used to run on the treadmill; that would ruin the point of running for me. I determined the days I ran based on the weather, and how far I ran based on how I felt. There weren't any training plans or Garmins beeping at me showing my pace. It was just me and my mind. Running was not about the end result, it was about the experience that got me there. I used to be sad when my runs ended, now sometimes I can't wait for them to be over.

Let's not pretend for a minute that I didn't enjoy my last year with my Garmin. My Garmin and new approach to running helped me PR in every distance by a lot. And running fast and hitting paces I'd only dreamed about really did help me cope last year.

But that's not what I need now. I need running to be my therapy again. I'm done using my Garmin. 

I figured getting my running high back would be tricky to achieve at first. But it was kind of like riding a bike. Mentally letting go this morning yielded a great run this afternoon. At first I felt naked without my Garmin, but then I got in the best groove. I ran for a little over an hour and felt amazing. Now I feel more relaxed and optimistic than I have all week :)

Ok, maybe the fact that it was sunny and in the mid 50's helped my mood too.

Why do you run? Has that reason changed over time? Do you ever run without your Garmin? Is there anyone who doesn't have a Garmin? I know you're out there! I still don't have Facebook, so I know there are some Garmin-less runners ;)

Tagged as: , 27 Comments