To be completely honest, marathon training has not been going well lately. I have really been struggling mentally. Running has not been fun anymore; it has been a chore. I knew that this weekend I needed to make up some serious ground on my training and most importantly have fun again. I needed to remember why I love running. And so I headed to the trails at Elk Meadow Park.
I love my fanny pack.
I decided to not run for distance, instead running for time. Normally during marathon training I run for mileage, but obviously that approach has not been working for me. I wanted to actually enjoy the run and not focus on the distance.
There’s nothing glamourous about distance running. I generally get really bored during my distance runs around Denver. My Nicki Minaj Pandora radio station is barely enough to entertain me. Yet while trail running at Elk Meadow Park, I was not bored in the least. I focused on running over the rocks on the trail. I listened to the wind rustling the trees. I smelled the melting spring snow mixed with the scent of pine needles. I started to remember why running has been a part of my life for 12 years.
Shorts and snow. Must be spring in Colorado.
Not the most encouraging trail name ever.
I completed my time goal of two hours and felt great, especially after falling short on my distance runs the past few weeks. I have no idea how far I actually ran, and I’m completely unconcerned about my mileage. That was not the point of this run. The point of this run was to get back to the basics: just me, my fanny pack (of course) and the trail. And I was happy to discover that running and I still have it. Running is still an absolute joy.
My happy place.
I’m a little nervous for the Colorado Marathon and I’m feeling slightly unprepared. But I think as long as I remember the feeling I had running at Elk Meadow Park it will be just fine.