having vs. wanting

I’m just barely skimming the surface of this whole marathon training thing, and I’m already catching myself thinking the wrong way:

“I have to run six miles tomorrow morning.”
“I have to get a long run in before I go to the airport.”
“I have to find a way to run while I’m away.”

This sucks. I love running so much, mainly because it is something that has never felt forced. And now that I’ve signed up for the race, created a goal, and received a plan, I need to remember that I’m doing this not because I have to, but because I want to.

I woke up to my alarm clock this morning and for the love of god could not move a muscle. I had trouble falling asleep and had only clocked in five hours of sleep, so decided to skip my morning run in favor for some extra shut eye. Aaand a date with the dreadmill in the evening.

All day I kept reminding myself “you have to run 5 miles later.” The treadmill is definitely the most challenging way for me to run mentally (I honestly don’t think I’ve ever run more than five miles on a machine for sanity’s sake) and yet I managed to do it. I warmed up, pounded out the miles (while CNN repeatedly aired people getting the flu shot), did some strides, and lifted.

But I went though the motions because I had to, not because I absolutely wanted to. Not because I love the sport, and the challenge, and because I want nothing more than to go sub 3:30.

So before I really dive into this train-for-something-for-awhile-to-accomplish-something-really-fucking-hard-thing I’ve got going on, I have to play with words.

I want to run. I want to do tempo runs and see how smooth they can feel. I want 13 mile runs to no longer feel “long.” I want to value rest days and foam rolling and core work. I want to wake up early and explain to the Latinos outside my door the reason I’m just standing there in bright blue spandex while it’s seven degrees out is because my garmin doesn’t have signal yet. 

I don’t have to do anything, so there’s absolutely no point in telling myself that. I want to run six miles tomorrow morning…and I will.

See you soon, East River Park.

About Laura

marketing director at Possible. formerly at Greatist. Still running, finding zen, and searching for the perfect bloody mary.

Posted on January 17, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. such a good point. I always say “have to” even though I mean “want to”. need to change that up!

  2. Fighting your own mind is hard to do! I find that as much as I hate getting up super early for a workout, I always feel great after. And after any workout for that matter 🙂 You can do it, you will get there!

  3. readytogetsweaty

    Oh I find myself doing this all the time. I have vs. I want to go to the gym, to run, to eat that salad instead of pizza. It’s such a hard fight. great post…

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