Why we run: Sometimes it’s the experience, not performance

I’ve written quite a bit about trail running over the past several months, so if you read this blog much you know how much I enjoy it. My last trail run wasn’t so great, at least in terms of performance. Heat, inadequate hydration and a dreadful week of eating/rest on a business trip (not to mention an almost complete lack of exercise) turned into a slow and laborious 5.4 miles. I have to remedy this quick. But I’m not too concerned.

You see, we often lose sight of the aesthetics of trail running when getting a tunnel-vision fixation on performance. Sometimes you just have to let that stuff ride and remember the importance of getting on the trail, taking in fresh air and being content that the exercise itself is always of value, no matter your time.

You might see something pleasantly sylvan like this:

Or perhaps something a little wilder like this:

And then get a reminder to be grateful that such wildness is so close to the city in which you live.

As I get back into my routine, eat cleaner, hydrate more and get better rest, my performance will improve. The one constant will not be how fast I bust out that last mile or how strong I tackle that hill. That comes and goes. Instead, it will be the reward – the blessing – of being able to get outside, get my heart rate up, breathe fresh air and take it all in stride after stride.

It’s why we do what we do.

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088


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