Thursday, 26 May 2011

The first day of the rest of your life

There is something comforting about putting a race behind you. The anticipation building before the race can be beneficial, but it can also turn to anxiety and paralyse. Luckily I don't get that nervous any more before a race. It probably has to do with my lowered expectations when it comes to chasing personal records. But after a race, when muscles have recovered and the endorphins have dissolved into nothing, when the built-up anticipation has either led to triumph or disappointment, that is when it all happens for me. That is the time for dreaming.

The saying goes: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. With the race over and done with, I'm all of a sudden free. The rest of my life is ahead of me. I can run if I want to. Rest if I want to. Eat what I want (I'm sick of pasta by this point). Look for a new race, or just head to the forest. Plan the next big adventure with the group, or go for a solo run, lost in my own thoughts.

After Kungsbackaloppet, I promised myself I'd never run another race. The agony of pushing myself to cross limits that I don't really feel comfortable crossing was too much (especially as I was running on an empty stomach. Now that was pure agony). I'm settling more and more into my identity as a runner that runs far, not fast. That wants to be an ultra runner when she grows up. That runs for the experience and joy of running. Göteborgsvarvet wasn't agony, because I knew from the beginning I wouldn't be breaking any world records. I just had fun. But the real adventure is in the every day run, be it a short one taking the path less travelled, or a long one to a new place. The meditation. The surroundings. Chatting with friends or listening to the sounds of nature. And now I am free to do that, without dietary restrictions, without taper weeks, without anxiety.

I still kind of wish I could run Stockholm Marathon on Saturday, though.


  1. At the moment I am very nervous about the marathon, but trying to be excited too. I am sure once it is over I will feel that same drop in emotion as I have been building up to this since the Autumn when I booked it. Enjoy watching it on TV :)

  2. din inställning till löpning är helt underbar. förstår att du önskar du skulle/kunde springa på lördag, precis som jag önskar att jag hade kunnat springa förra lördagen.. men det kommer fler marathon, liksom det kommer fler göteborgsvarv. :)

  3. Maria: I hope that you also feel pride and happiness that you achieved something so amazing! :)
    Lotta: Precis! Det kommer flera lopp. Det kanske är lite "farligt" att titta på maran på TV imorgon i alla fall. Jag tycker att det är så underbart att så många kämpar på en sån mäktig distans att det garanterat blir lite emotionellt.