Most of the time, I’m not training for an event, but four times a week, without fail, I run.
I run because I love it. It makes me feel better, both physically and mentally. Not that there’s anything ‘wrong’ with me as such, either physically or mentally, but I can still feel a difference when I run.
Trying to improve his parkrun times has given him a bit of an aim which isn’t a competition, but he’s still never seen the point of just running for running’s sake.
But recently that’s started to change.
Now the kids are older, we can leave them at home and run together. So he did a few six mile runs with me on a Sunday morning. When I said I was going to train for the Tewkesbury half marathon and run eight miles, he decided to run eight miles with me.
And he enjoyed it far more than if he was training for something. He was running for the fun of it. To feel fit, to feel strong and to enjoy it.
The following week, he ran 10 miles with me.
Why didn’t he just run the Tewkesbury half marathon with me?
But he didn’t want to. For the first time in his life, he understood running without a competition or an aim. He finally understood running for pleasure.
And me? I’ve kind of gone the other way. I have a mental list of four local half marathons I’d like to do this year. I may only do two of them, I may do three or all four. Who knows? I think I’ve become a bit competitive in my old age.
But, in between the half marathons, I will keep running for pleasure.