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.