I had a nice run this morning, it was cool (for Singapore anyway), a little damp. I went out alone, no music, no real plan – just to go out, run for a while, and come home.
I ran for an hour, covered about 11km, passing a hundred tai chi ladies in the Botanic Gardens and finished just before the clouds cleared and the temperature began to soar, running a route I’ve walked/cycled/run a hundred times before.
I ran at the pace that we all have, easy, but not a shuffle. Enough to work up a sweat, but not so hard as to force your breath. For me, in Singapore, that pace is usually around 5.20-5.25 min/km.
If I was training for something, this would be recovery pace – I might even feel like it was a wasted session. But I’m not training for anything right now. It’s the first time in years I have been able to say that. So I’m just running when I want to run, doing what I want to do.
I’ve reached some sort of catharsis recently – I can finally appreciate a run without it needing to fit into a plan.
I’ve been running since I was about 10, mostly for some level of competition or performance. I’ve always monitored my fitness/pace/performance as the primary KPIs :
- I’m quick, therefore I’m fit, therefore this is good. OR :
- I’m slow, therefore I’m not fit, therefore this is not good.
Particularly over the last 10-15 years I’ve made these measurements based on race results. 5k/10k/Half/Full. Good years and bad years, I’ve always raced and always compared.
2017 has been different. I hardly raced all year. A few 10k’s earlier in the year (unexceptional all of them) and a 21k trail race in September that I didn’t actually race. I sprained both ankles and it took a long time to recover.
So I’m just going to get to the end of the year, running when I feel like running and not feeling bad if I don’t. For now, I’m ‘just running’ and it feels ‘just fine’.
Plans in development for 2018, but first, two months of run for me.