Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Should I run a 10k?

I'm thinking about it, just a bit. My exercise routine needs a little shaking up, maybe a real goal to work for - pounding the treadmill just because is getting old. I'd love to be able to run outside, which might be enough of a change, but since I have to go to the gym at 5 AM (OK, 5:30) it is far too dark for me to feel comfortable outside by myself. The other times I have available for running that aren't too dark are usually dedicated to walking the dog. I feel guilty leaving him at home when I go outside for exercise, since he really needs walks, and I like walking as a form of relaxation.

Anyway, a goal. I don't really feel any desire to become a long distance runner, and I don't really care about races - I run to get aerobic exercise, mostly, and to increase my endurance for tennis and fencing. But now that I can routinely run 3 miles at a time on the treadmill, I am bored. It seems like a 10K would be a good goal to work towards. But maybe I should be working on other things first, like increasing my speed at the 5K (even though I just said I don't care about races, that doesn't mean I don't want to go faster). I'm just not sure - you could pour syrup on me and call me a waffle I change my mind so often.

Part of the problem, I think, is that I spend too much time reading blogs and magazine posts by serious runners - people for whom running is their primary form of entertainment and hobby, who race for fun, who worry about their split times and minute changes to their strides, and how to fuel up for an ultra-marathon - and I start to think that way too, or at least think that I should think that way. This isn't necessarily bad, but a lot of what I read is certainly over my head, and written for people with a different focus. And after a while, I start thinking that there is only one way to do things - the competitive way - and lose sight of my actual goals with running. (This is a not uncommon problem with me.) And those goals are really not related to running - running is more of a tool for me to improve my other hobbies, instead of the hobby itself. I do want to improve, and I want to make sure I am doing things correctly so I don't injure myself, but I am, ultimately, not trying to be a serious runner.

So, I am thinking about a 10K, but I haven't decided. And if I don't do it, that's OK. I need to remember that back in January, when I first starting thinking about running, I couldn't run 3 miles, I hated running, and I wouldn't have even thought about a 10K.

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