Thursday, March 31, 2011

Do what you love

The other day, I was reminded by the half marathon training group coach that the Boston Marathon was adjusting the qualifying times.  Instead of needing to run a 3:20:59 this fall in the Baltimore marathon (already quite a challenge on the hilly Baltimore course), I would need to run a 3:15:59.  Now, since I don't know exactly what my reasonable maximum is on the marathon (I've only run one and I was dealing with a slight injury), I may be able to ponder this, but the extra five minutes compared with what I had been planning for since October seems like a big deal.

After pondering if for a bit, I have realized that there is another life lessons/running lesson link.  When I was working toward my promotion to full professor, I received a lot of advice about how to shift what I was doing to accelerate and make more certain the promotion process.  While I respected all those who provided such advice, I eventually decided just to continue doing what I was doing.  I figured for all the stresses that my job creates, I might as well enjoy what I am doing.  If I was good at what I did and I did not get promoted, I would then look for another position doing what I enjoyed.  The key was to make sure I loved what I was doing and to hope that everything else would take care of itself.  I felt a lot less pressure, and it did take care of itself.

So how does this relate to running?  Well, with the thought that I don't have a good chance of qualifying for Boston this year, I am feeling less pressure.  Now, I can just focus on running because I love running and I love writing about it.  Maybe I will qualify.  If I do, I'll be quite happy.  It'll be another example of things taking care of themselves when I don't put the pressure on.  If I ever decide that I don't love the gifts of running and writing so much, I'll hang up the running shoes.

Until then, I'll just remind myself that I do it because I love it!

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