We Can’t All be Training! (For the same thing)

You can thank two days of running unexpected miles, a fasting blood test, an afternoon walk that I sort of wished was a run at the beginning (not at the end), bright sunny Spring days, and unexplained and unwanted foot pain for this thought on life.

It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood!

It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood!

It sort of seems like since entering college that literally everyone is training for something. Never in my whole life have I met and spoken to so many people that are training for a half or full marathon. OK it might be the fact that my major is call Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise so everyone in the major is assumed to be rather health conscious. Or it could be the fact that I follow people in the blogging world who are committed to active and healthy lifestyles and most of them love running. Or it could be the fact that it seems like everyday there is some new diet and fitness trend that everyone wants to get behind. I am not saying everyone training for a marathon is a bad thing (although that would make for some pretty close running quarters during said race), but I am putting it out there that it isn’t for everyone (me being one of those people)

I just started running and I hope to never become obsessed with mileage, pace, ect. Because that would take away from the whole reason I actually started to like running for the first time ever (I was literally the girl that not only completed 12 minute miles but also hid behind the bleachers sometimes to avoid a lap or two…) I started to like running because for the first time ever that trip to the gym to run on a treadmill didn’t feel forced like the same trip to would have if I was doing the elliptical, the runs I just started doing outside don’t feel like exercise. It feels fun, beautiful, and noncompetitive. So when I log my miles on my daily mile it isn’t to track my training I really just want to find out how far I went so I can tell my mom and dad.

I know a lot of people out there feel pressure when it comes to fitness because they think they have to be like the person running a 7-8 minute mile or that they will some day have to run a marathon. It seems like running (and other fitness activities- I am just using running because so many do it) = must enter a race. I will admit that my mind has wandered there a few times and maybe I will run in a race one day in the future. But I will not be racing. Because this activity isn’t my personal marathon.

My marathon and what I train for is school/academics. My miles are spent making large stacks of flashcards, memorizing complex metabolic processes, and pipetting RNA and protein samples to better understand metabolism. I take tests like that person crossing the finish line and looking like they could go another 26 miles. This studying and epic feeling after I successfully bubble in that last bubble is my runner’s high.

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I have used this picture before but it is so true!

We are all training for some race. And that is a good thing. But is the race necessarily on the road for 26 miles, or in the pool and on a bike to make things even more complicated? Nope. Fitness can be something you just do while training to do something else that really does give you a high. It might be school (like me), or your job (I imagine lawyers and doctors experience their respective high in the courtroom or operating room), or raising a family. It all counts and it is all life long training towards our own happiness. The big finish is to live healthfully and happily alongside friends and family for the rest of your life ๐Ÿ˜€

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14 thoughts on “We Can’t All be Training! (For the same thing)

  1. I love this and I couldn’t agree more! Even though I’ve been running for 4 years (except for the past few months), I’ve never done a race or been too competitive with myself. That’s just not how I want my relationship with running to be like. I’m not going to lie though, there have been times where I felt like I should be more obsessed about running faster/longer, just because that’s what all the other bloggers were doing. But now I’ll just be grateful to be able to run at all once my knee is better! It has really changed my perspective.

    • First I am sorry about your knee, but also so glad you have been doing what is necessary for it to heal properly so that you can run again. Second, the pressure to be like what feels like all other runners is overwhelming and really can take the joy out of something that is supposed to make you feel good. I remember the first time I ran 2 miles, I was so PROUD of myself. I realized I was falling into a trap when I was no longer happy with 2 miles. I should be happy no matter the distance and that is what I am finding now ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. This is a really great point. It does seem like people are always training for something. Honestly, I’m the healthiest when I’m not training for anything. I’m looking forward to the multiple weeks I’m taking off this summer from running or training or anything team related. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. THere is so much pressure- I feel like it’s a standard question now “oh, what are you training for?” because so many people jump on the marathon and triathlon bandwagon in college and just after they graduate. Good for you for doing it for yourself (or your parents- I LOVE that!). That’s a much better mindset to be in and you’ll be way less stressed and happier in the long run.

    • I am so glad you are taking that time for yourself! I really think it will open your mind a world to new things that you love and help you to appreciate the things you already love without the stress of having to do them!

  3. I like this post a lot (I know I start all my commentary on your posts this way but it’s true). I like to run because I like to run. Sure I have big races that I target but I know in the end that if I don’t have the greatest run then my life will not be over. It’s more of a process then getting there.

    I absolutely HATE that the blogging world views marathons as…oh everyone is doing it…why aren’t you. (I could ramble on about that). If you are a new runner, it’s not really that appropriate for you to just jump into marathon training and really not even half marathon training but blogging gives you the credentials to do whatever you want.

    Sure I could easily say I’m training for something 95% of my year, but really…it’s more of enjoying runs to get you to that point. The biggest advice my dad has ever told me (as he is someone that runs a marathon most years (just 1…when did it become standard to run like 5…anyways) and has never once had a marathon reflect the effort he puts in but he said “Hollie, we have these high expectations for one single race on a single day, it may be your day…it may not…but isn’t it the process anyways…if you are miserable and stressed getting there…is that one day worth it?” My answer is always no…I’d rather be casual and happy in my training then stressed.

    okay novel complete.

    • I love love love this novel! and I love your dad, because he is so right. I wish I had heard that through all of my years of dance and I honestly need to hear it now for my tests and such. Because quite honestly the things we train for are supposed to be because we love it. The whole of it. The process from beginning to end and if that big race doesn’t end up as we planned? At least we have the journey to look back on and feel proud and happy.

      I honestly do not know when marathon and half training became the it thing in the blog world/the fitness world. It isn’t smart for someone to run 13 miles right away?!? o darn guess I came into running all wrong! jk. But that does happen to a lot of people and their health and happiness suffers big time.

      I wish for once people could let go of the destination and enjoy the journey. 5 miles vs 13 doesn’t matter. they all include running and that is why you do it right? Same for me and tests… 95 vs 100? The difference between a B and an A? It shouldn’t matter as long as I did my best, knew the info, and didn’t Christmas tree my way through the test!

      Novel back complete ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Now that I think about it – 95% of the time I’ve known you I’ve been training for a race. Crazy! Anyways, my comment isn’t going to be quite as long since a) you know most of my philosophy and b) i live with you so I can chat/text ya when I want! haha. Anyways here is my speal:
    I’ve made this analogy with you before – you take my drive/dedication/seriousness that i put into marathon training but turn it into academic marathon training. Tell me every single enzyme in Glycolysis – I know you can do it ๐Ÿ˜‰ You plan our your times to study, how to regroup and refuel and how to recover after a “high mileage” of studying and assignments. Its the same thing just not exercise related. Sure, some people LOVE to train for races and compete (I am one of them) but I do admire the people just go out for a casual 5 mile run, think nothing of it or how it contributes to their weekly mileage. Anywho – I know a couple 5ks coming up and if you want i’ll cheer ya on the sideline since you can run a 5k lovely!

    • I did get the inspiration partly from your statement before the last metabolic test. But the rest came from the pressure I began feeling as I started to enjoy running for the first time ever. Pressure to run a race. And then I realized that would totally take the joy out of it for me right now. Running is only healthy for me right now because I don’t want a certain time or a certain mileage ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. You never cease to amaze me, girl. I love how you think outside the box and aren’t afraid to show that to the world ๐Ÿ™‚ That part about you running in high school was me to a t (although I’m pretty sure my miles were more like 13 minutes), too, which made me smile. One more thing we have in common ๐Ÿ™‚ I think this is something we need to keep in mind a lot more often. Our differences are what make us unique…seriously, how boring would it be if we were all training for the same event? Eeeek, no thank you. I love knowing so many different people who have such wonderful passions they pursue, many of which have nothing to do with running or physical fitness at all. Keeps things interesting and reminds me that there is more to life than an 8 minute mile, which is sadly necessary sometimes…getting better than I was, though, so I have hope I’ll get there at some point ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Haha I would have probably had a 13-15 minute mile if I didn’t spend my time in the bleachers and choosing the best time to come out and finish that 4th (1st) lap lol! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Isn’t it such a sigh of relief when you meet someone whose passion isn’t fitness?!? And they are still perfectly healthy and living and enjoying life! I honestly love it. But then of course I love meeting another fitness and food fanatic too ๐Ÿ˜€ You will get there my dear and I see amazing progress everyday. There will be a day that you come back from a run and the time doesn’t matter, the miles are just miles, but the feeling you have is = to the best “marathon” of your life!

  6. I’ve never associated training with anything other than fitness, but you’re so right that it applies to more than just prepping ourselves for a race or marathon. Sometimes it really does seem like everyone is running and racing, and I can’t deny that there have been plenty of times where I started feeling like it’s something I should get into as well, but that’s just not where my heart lies and the handful of times I tried to force myself to like it were unsuccessful. I love staying active, but without pressure or plans attached. Thanks for the great train of thought, lady ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Forcing love has never worked. It didn’t work in arranged marriages and it isn’t going to work when it comes to fitness. I think that is part of what we are missing when tackling the obesity issue and lack of physical activity in today’s day and age. People have to love what they do to 1. stick with it and 2. to put all of their effort into and reap the benefits. Running, marathons, triathlons, swimming, cycling, walking… Something for everyone but not the same thing for everyone! ps Welcome back from vacation!!!

  7. So I have to say – the MAJORITY of people in the wide world are just like you! Fitness is fitness – they might be yoga afficionados, gym rats, recreational cyclists, recreational runners – and it’s just something they do to stay healthy and get an endorphin boost, but their real passion is in their careers, or in raising their kids. I think that 1. being part of the blog world and 2. being in school for exercise science REALLY HUGELY SKEWS YOUR PERCEPTION of how people approach fitness. However, running is also highly addictive, so I think a lot of people get bit by the bug and want to sign up for races because – well -they’re so much fun!

    But I totally hear you. Not everyone needs to run a marathon, or a half marathon, or do a triathlon. Everyone has their own little niche in the world. Your thing is school and learning and you’re gonna make HUGE contributions to science. A lot of the people I work with at CTS are highly successful cyclists but their true calling is coaching others. And some of those highly successful cyclists – we’re talking professional athletes here – have never run a step in their lives, because that’s not their thing. Just like I’m a runner but I will never enter a triathlon because I am afraid of swimming. My best friend in the entire universe – I’m talking my future maid of honor – is 24 and only JUST started exercising a month ago – but her passion is literature and writing, not exercise, and since she’s such an incredible friend, I could care less if she works out (except I want her to be healthy and feel good about herself). So you’re right – everyone has something different to offer the world, everyone has a different passion, and that is the sole reason this world even functions semi-normally. Fitness is important but you don’t have to do it for any reason other than you like it and it makes you feel good! Fitness can just be something you do, something you like – it doesn’t have to be something you contribute to the world.

    And for what it’s worth…I am a runner, and I have competitive racing goals….and I race very VERY infrequently. I train, but I’m not always training FOR something. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great post girl.

  8. Pingback: Things I Learned Yesterday (WIAW) | Chasing Chels

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