Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Year Without Racing - 2013 Running Recap

This year marked my 10th year of consistent running, and the first year since I started that I didn't run a single race.  A couple of good things came out of this year, the first of which is that I ran all year without being injured.  Sure, there were a couple of times when one part or another was twingeing, but nothing developed from it. 

The other thing I realized is that I don't need racing to hold my motivation.  When I taught psychology classes, one of the concepts I covered was intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation.  People who are intrinsically motivated find their motivation deep inside themselves.  People who are extrinsically motivated find it from outside sources - in the case of running, this could be races, people commenting on Facebook statuses about their workouts, prize money, etc.  In examining my year-end mileage, I see that this year was one of my highest mileage running years (the highest was in 2007, the year after Pierce was born, when I ran 3 marathons).  I ran 1240 miles, with not a single race or running partner for motivation.  I run because my soul wants to, because it feels freeing and keeps me happy, and I don't need anything more than that.

I was surprised to realize this.  Here I thought that I needed racing.  That if I didn't race, my running would fall apart.  That hasn't happened.  I'm certainly slower because of not racing, but you know what?  I'm healthy, and injury-free.  And that's a good thing.

That said, I'm going to try to race again in 2014.  Not a lot.  Maybe just one or two. I do have a race in mind.  I'll see how it goes.  It's low-pressure race, which I'll do for fun, if I feel like I can run it without injury.  Mostly, I'm just looking forward to many more zen miles this year.

How about you readers?  Are you still discovering things about yourself that are surprising?  I hope 2014 is a great year for all of you!

27 comments:

EG CameraGirl said...

Sounds like you are setting a healthy goal for yourself this year, Lisa! I wish you and yours all the best in 2014.

Nancy Claeys said...

I learned some time ago if you don't do it for yourself to begin with, it likely won't stick.

I've learned alot about myself this past year -- and hope to carry what I've learned into the new year, health and God willing.

Happy New Year Lisa! xo

Mila said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I found that I can sit calmly in the car while I teach my daughter how to drive.

Buttons said...

Oh Lisa Happy New Year I being much older than you have found so many things that keep me going and I find that every year brings with it some different kind of inspiration and resulting new goal. I think it was important for you to have this injury free time to heal and find the new you. I wish you many happy races in the future and I think you are one amazing Mom and person. 2014 is going to be even better:) Hug B

Terri Buster said...

Happy New Year Lisa- and here here to intrinsic motivation!

TexWisGirl said...

running because you love it - and without injury - has got to be the best. yay for you!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

So glad you had an injury-free and joyful year of running!

I have learned that the way I think about things really does matter. I have changed the way I pay attention to my thoughts. I no longer give myself over to indulging in the negative thinking that I used to do. The negative thoughts are still there; I just don't pay nearly as much attention to them. This has been life changing!!

Happy New Year, dear Lisa, to you and your family. May 2014 bring lots of peace, joy and good health!

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Have a great new year, Lisa. Running, walking, jumping... it's all good as long as we listen to our body. xox

Giancarlo said...

Metti la mano sinistra sulla spalla destra e la mano destra sulla spalla sinistra.
Hai appena ricevuto un abbraccio a distanza. Buon 2014.

Gail Dixon said...

Fascinating insight into motivation. Did not know there were two types. Congrats on the miles you ran and hope you are able to run as much as your heart desires this coming year!

Lady Lilith said...

All the time. For me, I find that everyday is a new discovery. I cannot wait to see what 2014 will be bringing.

A Quiet Corner said...

That's how I feel about things I love...walking! kayaking! exercising!...passion...just plain passion! You should be proud of yourself, Baby Girl!...:)JP

Barbara said...

Happy New Year. The best part I'm sure was being injury free. Good luck in 2014, races or not.

Out on the prairie said...

I constantly am amused at ways I interpret my life and its influences

Michaele said...

That is a neat photo. I am like you. What I do I do for me. Competition would drive me crazy I think : )

Laura Lee said...

Doing things because you love doing them is the only way to go! Wishing you a 2nd consecutive injury free year!

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

That's an important "lesson"! To find that you don't need races to keep your motivation to run. Especially since it helped you stay injury free - more important, as you know, since you can't run like you want when you're injured.

My lesson was to take getting back into running nice and easy. I had started pushing and voila! A couple injuries (tendonitis and plantar fasciitis in one foot and "capsulitis" in the other). Now, back to running nice and easy and start building up my mileage to where it used to be.

So glad, though, that your year has been injury free and enjoyable (even without the races).

Happy New Year!

Shine Jenny said...

Oh! I like running too. I joined 10 km marathon in Hong Kong a few times. I joined 21 km marathon one time but could not complete. I just completed 17 km cos that day had rain and strong wind but I did not wear any raincoat to keep warm. My body shook heavily and thus, I gave up finally.

I am more and more interested in reading your blog. It seems that we have some similar hobbies : )

Craftybegonia said...

Hi Lisa, yes, I'm still discovering things about myself that surprise me. I must make a resolution to exercise more this year, I need it!

Linda said...

Thanks for the lesson in motivation. I find having a target date is helpful to me.

Have a great year and don't overdo it to the point that you risk injury.

Michelle said...

Happy New Year Lisa!

Chatty Crone said...

I think the older I get the more I discover myself - for the better. I am wishing you a wonderful new year. sandie

Willow said...

Lisa ,
Wishing you and your a wonderful 2014 !

SweetMarie said...

Happy 2014!!!

Maggid said...

Healthy, Injury Free - sounds like a good place to find oneself. - i really like the photo . . I always think a pupster is great company.

Yes, I am always finding something new to learn, and some new challenge, skill, idea . . .

2014 . . bring it on!!!!
love & love,
-g-

Busy Bee Suz said...

Zen miles…that is pretty cool. I sure wish my soul needed running. You are inspiring. Happy 2014!