Last night was week 2 of the Mine Falls Trail Race Series I'm participating. This week was not as great as last week. The humidity was a killer last night and my pre-race fuel choices were probably not the best (Cheese-Its anyone?). But, I got it done and only 16 seconds slower than last week, so I was satisfied. Final Time: 32.59.
Irregardless of how the race went, I was happy to see my running pals (I'm not sure that they know I consider them pals, but I do). I also got to meet some new faces too. One girl has only been running for 7 weeks and she's already running 5Ks. Totally awesome. There was also a woman there from the previous week who also did the Hollis Fast 5K this past Thursday. We were chatting before that race and she commented that she her running buddy passed me a couple times at the trail race the first week. Her running buddy commented to her that she noticed I was smiling both times they passed me. Apparently this was surprising to them that someone would be smiling while running.
It got me thinking and I came to the realization that I really do loving running. I didn't always love it. I went through a period of hatred and then it morphed into a time where I could tolerate it. This past year I have been running more consistently than ever and I've noticed that I really do enjoy it. I've found myself smiling on more runs than I ever have because I am genuinely enjoying myself. I was surprised and pleased to know that someone else noticed.
I'm not exactly sure when and where the shift happened, but I don't think I ever envisioned myself as someone who would be happy running. I think the shift began when I started trying to take the pressure off myself and just do what feels comfortable. I think at some point you have to let yourself love running. I think putting a smile on, even when I might not feel like it, also helps. That forces positive thinking, which does wonders. The other part that helps is that I know when I'm done that I will feel amazing and I just think about that feeling while I run.
Do you love running (or any other sport, for that matter)? If you don't, do you think you'll grow to love it?