I have decided that for 2009 I cannot say “No” to any suggestion of a run. If you ask me to join you on a run, my answer is “Yes”. If you suggest we do a race together, my answer is “Yes”. Whether it’s 5:30am tomorrow morning, or 8pm the next night, or the Gun Run in October, my answer is “Yes, I’ll see you there”.
The thinking behind this new approach (and I admit there isn’t very much of it) is that my running has become too structured, too rigid. I’m no longer running for fun and at my pace, I really should be.
I often run with a specific goal in mind – Gun Run, Two Oceans, Table Mountain Challenge – and that’s not an altogether bad thing. But when my running gets so structured that I’m turning down gentle runs on the mountain with friends because my training schedule has me down for 12x200s at 800m pace then I know my year of “Yes” is exactly what I need.
This year my logbook will not be full of neat, rounded runs of exactly 6km, 10km and 6x400s at 5km pace. This year I might throw in four mountain runs in the same week, I might go running before work, I might enter obscure races that I’ve never before heard of because, and I’m sure of this, it will be fun!
I’m still working on the fine print to this “Yes” approach. I do still intend to hold down the 9-5 job that I currently have, and I do acknowledge I may begin to seem rude if I start missing birthdays, weddings and all other prior engagements because I had to go running. But that’s not what is important. What matters is that in 2009 I will care less about how many kilometres I do in a week, I will ignore all training schedules, I might even leave the stopwatch at home. I will spend time with friends, I will run at different times in new places and I will be sure, at all times, to run for the fun of it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I said “Yes” to a run above Rhodes Memorial…