However, hey - what if I can’t keep to the intended pace during the half marathon? What if I don’t get a new PB and beat my time from the Shanghai half last December? So, what?? The only person who will be disappointed is me. I highly doubt anyone else cares if I manage to complete it in 1:30, or 1:31, or even 2:31 (3:31, people may be concerned about however, namely the race organizers, as there is a 3 hour cut-off time). Sure, friends would be very happy for me if I DO complete the race in the time that I want, but I’m sure they’ll be equally happy for me if I don’t and I run it anyway and am happy with the race. It struck me this morning, as I was lamenting my crappy run, that it is only ourselves who pressure us. We are our own worst enemies sometimes, and if I treated my friends the way I treat myself sometimes (i.e. the pressure I put on myself to meet goals and other things) then I’m sure I wouldn’t be their favourite person to hang out with, if at all. Before I left for this morning’s run, I was deliberating about whether or not to go, and was generally procrastinating drink green tea after green tea (shock! We were all out of coffee, nooooo…..), Husband told me to stop pressuring myself – it didn’t matter whether I went now or later in the day. Hmm, he had a point. However, it already being mid-morning (crazy sleep-in this morning until almost 9am!), and hence a hefty amount of traffic and humidity out there, I knew these two factors would only get worse later on, and that if I didn’t go right then and there, that I wouldn’t go at all and the day would simply get away from me. So, yes, I pressured and forced myself out the door! But then, during the run, his words came back to me, and I thought that yes, as runners, I think we tend to pile on the pressure about certain paces, times or distances we think we ‘have’ to run. I know how awesome it feels to tick off certain goals and to achieve training successes, but when things don’t go according to plan, we really shouldn’t take it so seriously or to heart. I mean, no one else does, right? Your friends and family are just happy if you’re happy, and (should) support you whatever your time or place in a race. At the end of the day, it’s just for fun and it’s a form of playing. Like anything in life, we shouldn’t take it so seriously. I will try and heed my own advice!
And so, for something completely unrelated to running paces, fuel, injuries, or any other running related topic, here are some pictures of a beautiful, playful soul, who definitely doesn’t take life too seriously (although she takes begging for egg yolks or peanuts kind of seriously at times) and would never put pressure on herself for anything, she just goes with the flow. I should follow her example: