So often when you run you measure your success in miles or minutes. We hunt out personal bests, setting targets to shave off minutes in a race, gauging the success of that race on the time it took us to cover that ground. We can put so much stock in that one measure of achievement, one measure where mere moments can make or break how we feel about a run, success, ourselves. We can have a great run and the end up feeling awful just because of the minutes on a clock. Sometimes I wonder if there might be another way. If there should be another way.
Last week I scored a PW (personal worst). I completed Run Hackney 40 minutes slower than my PB. If traditional wisdom is to be believed about what makes a good run I should be devastated. But I'm not. In fact I rank Run Hackney 2016 as one of my best races ever. You see, I'd like to propose an alternative approach, instead of measuring our runs in miles and minutes lets measure them in how they make us feel. Last Sunday I felt amazing. I was out running one of my favourite routes with two of my awesome friends. It was hot and sunny and the crowds were buzzing. That sense of community that I love about Run Hackney was present like never before and I felt good. Really really good. We ran and we chatted and we walked when the heat all felt too much (and it was HOT) and we ate jelly babies and topped our bottles up with Nunn (safely transported around the course in Elle's bra, obviously) and we said hi to everyone we knew and enjoyed everything we saw. Not once did one of us look at a watch. We listened to our bodies in the heat and focused on having fun and feeling good no matter what, and it was brilliant. Truly truly brilliant. We could of been disappointed when our times pinged through on our phones after the race. We could have blamed the weather or beat ourselves up for not training more or trying harder. However we didn't, we chose another measure, we chose the rate the run on how it made us feel, and there is no way we could walk away from a race like that and say it was bad when we felt so great about the world.
So I'm going to propose we ditch the PB's and angst about our times and embrace something a little different. How about finding something in every run that makes us happy? Whether it's simply a celebration that we got our asses out the door, ran a route we loved, spent time with some brilliant people or felt so good afterwards we became that dick who wax lyrical about the joy of running. Whatever it is enjoy it and don't let the minutes in the day undermine your joy!