The Morality of Running…

       The morality of running seems like a stupid title, and it is.  There is no morality in running.   You either run or you don’t. In your life, this year, this month, this day. It just is. And it is not good or bad. 

     So why is it that I have inserted all sorts of morality  and personal judgement into my running?  I have been running/ triathaloning (is that even a word?) for 10 years now.  Not consistently, there have been days, months, years when I didn’t do any training at all. But I always seem to come back to it as an activity I really love. The major problem with this inconsistency is that I have developed a lot of “shoulds” 

  • I used to be able to run 8 minute miles, I should be able to do that now
  • I should be able to run further than that run, I used to be able to do that
  • I gained 30 lbs, how did I let that happen.  I should have watched my food better.
  • My favorite workout used to be a 6 mile tempo run. I should still be able to do that.

All of those shoulds are stealing my joy of the run.  While plodding along today, I wasn’t happy to be out on a brisk morning enjoying the sunshine (finally!) and feeling good that I was working towards a goal.  I was feeling bad that I was much slower than I used to be. I was feeling fat and not worthy of calling myself a runner. I was judging myself pretty harshly. My effort was bad because it was slow. Good runners would be going farther than I was this morning. I injected morality into my running. And my running is no place for morality.  I am not a good person because I am a good runner, and I am not a bad person because I am at the back of the pack. 

So I am leaving the judgement at home.  For the next 2 weeks, I have no other goals than to run every day.  I can run slow. I can run short. I can take walking breaks. I am leaving the watch at home.  I don’t need to know how far I ran, or how fast.  I need to learn to love running again.  I think that since inconsistency caused the shoulds, that consistency will be the cure.  That and learning how to leave the morality out of running.



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