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diet, free time & relaxation, Health, long runs, Marathon training, Running

Party or No Party?

Or: How Much to Give Up for the Run?

So people start running for a lot of reasons I think. The most common among them is likely a desire to lose weight and the least common probably “because someone told me to”.

Actually, the latter reason is probably not that uncommon a reason to start running (with the someone usually being a doctor) but I hesitate to think it’s much of one to continue running and embrace it as part of your life.

A lot of people just don’t like being told what to do.

Me among them.

I haven’t actually mentioned my reason for picking up a pair of sneakers in 2011 and heading out the door. But after that moment, running became an increasingly important part of my life. To the point where I found myself scheduling work commitments, vacations and a number of other things around my training plan.

I was living it! The healthy life style. I made sure to sleep eight hours, to eat my breakfast, to snack, to lunch, to supper. All on healthy foods. I was running every other day and when I wasn’t running I was in the weight room. (And I hated the weight room!)

With work and sleep and running pretty much all of my time was consumed. And it became easier and easier to say no to friends who wanted to hang out, drink or dance or to just cut loose. I mean. I was so tired so often. And why would I ruin all my hard work by staying out late (or Gods forbid all night) and consuming empty liquid calories?

This continued for over a year.

Then last December a friend of mine asked me to a running workshop and practice conducted by probably Estonia’s best female marathon runner Jane Salumäe. She spoke,  she taught. But what most resonated with me was when someone said how much he admired her ability to put running first, and Jane replied:

“Running is not first. Family is first. Friends are first. Work is next. And then, then comes running.”

I realised how right she was. I mean, who knows how long you have doing any sport or activity, but friends and family are for a lifetime. They should never ever come second.

After a year of being a social recluse I’ve been making a concentrated effort to see my family, to see my friends, and not to say no when they want to see me.

And, yes, I’m allowing myself to cut loose, let my hair down and dance till dawn if the occasion calls for it.

This all explains how yesterday, after getting up a five thirty in the morning, teaching classes til four in the afternoon followed by parent-teacher conferences, I got home around seven thirty in the evening, crawled into bed, switched on the “nap” alarm, slept for two hours and then open the door for a coffee delivery from a friend who wanted to go out dancing with me. And it had been ages since the last time.

So. Just before midnight I found myself in a club dancing and dancing and dancing until it was time to get a taxi home around four in the morning.

(By the way, I’m not complete insane – my “fuel” for the over four hours of music, warm bodies and dance dance dance was a small cocktail and three glasses of tap water. ^_^)

Yes, today’s week four long run of 11km was brought to you by four hours of dancing, five hours of sleep, a morning spent cleaning the apartment and an oat-pancake breakfast. 😀

image

And guess what? It wasn’t bad at all! In fact, it was pretty darn good. The sun was shining, the air was crispy and there were a lot less slippery ice patches on the road than just two days ago.

In fact, as my mood was so good, instead of maintaining a pace of around 6:40 (my realistic aim for the first 10k+ run of 2013) it turned out to be a bit faster with every kilometre a little faster than the previous and the final two being sub-six.

😀

I’m pretty sure I’m going to pay for the sleepless run though now, as at around nine I’m sipping my favourite tea –

image

– and getting ready to fall into bed and unconsciousness.

Probably for twelve hours. 😉

I solemnly swear to take tomorrow’s 5 kilometre run easy and slow.

K.

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