You wanna run happy? Run home. You wanna bring it? Meet me outside.


So, I gotta talk about something that’s been grinding on me.  This notion that if you are not happy, you are missing the running boat.  And, I am not happy.  I think the impetus behind it, is that when it’s hard, and sometimes it’s really hard, there is a misguided notion that you must be doing something wrong.  Like, can’t we all just get along?  I know that there are whole shoe companies built on this notion, but it’s something I don’t buy.

When I run happy is when I’m in a groove.  I’m in a groove because maybe I’ve gutted through a particularly tough start.  Like this morning.  Our first mile or so was just hard.  I was not happy.  I was pissed that I couldn’t get up on the balls of my feet.  That I had to use the bathroom.  That even though I trained HARD last week, I didn’t see a gain in fitness.  My calves were screaming.  The sun was in my eyes.  We rounded toward Mile 3, and I was not happy.  The old creeping negative vibes started to bang on the door of my psyche.  And then, like it always does…I started really running.  And I enjoyed it.

BUT.  I did not start out happy.  And, I wasn’t happy at mile 4 & 5.  I was satisfied.  I was solid.  The happy came at the end…as the byproduct of the work I just did.  When I was at a 9:40 pace the last half mile or so after gutting it over the Catwalk.  When we got to talk about the good and bad of the run, that I had taken out my earphones at Mile 4 and listened to my body.  So yeah, I was happy.

However.  Ask any runner what percentage of her runs are happy runs?  I would beg to offer that at MOST it’s 50-50.  Because fantastic runners are made out of crappy runs.  That you have to acknowledge that crappy runs happen in training.  Otherwise, might have to throw the towel in right now.  I am doing it right.  I’m happy, not because of the run, but because of the results of the run.  I can be with my son.  I can do housework.  (Sometimes)  I can have a cookie.  But happiness all the time?  Not bloody likely.

Studies on what makes people happy reveal that it doesn’t have much to do with material goods or high achievement; it seems to whittle down to your outlook on life, and the quality of your relationships with the people around you. (from wikihow)

So.  If I read this right, it’s not the goal I achieve, it’s my outlook.  My people.  What this means is, in order for me to Run Happy, I have to look upon this goal as something I can attain.  With the people in my life and friends who walk this road with me…That I can reach the impossible!  A 51 year old with only 2 marathons under her belt!!!

Happiness may or not happen.  But that’s not why I run.  I run to challenge myself.  To make that goal happen.  To be a better Mom, Friend, Daughter, Sister, Sponsor.  Not to be happy.  However…it happens regardless…just not every day, and not on every run.



4 thoughts on “Running Satisfied.

  1. Thanks for this. I haven’t been happy with running in a while. I’m really struggling to do my puny two mile runs. My heart’s just not in it. I know it’s my outlook, but I cannot get a grip on it.

  2. “Because fantastic runners are made out of crappy runs.”

    I LOVE that phrase Linda! Because I am learning (albeit slow to catch on) that even the crappy runs pay off eventually, and experience is a valuable teacher in running. The more good runs that follow the crappy runs, the easier it is to accept the crappy runs.

    Good always follows bad, we just have to believe it to be true…in life and in running. Indisputable.

    And besides…if this were easy, everyone would be doing it!

  3. Sometimes happiness is a active choice, not just something that “happens”.

    Good post, Linda. Be mindful to be happy.

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