Sometimes I forget why I run. I can get carried away with the distance I have planned for a workout. I get too concerned with how fast (or slow I am running). I push myself, and push some more. Sometimes this is ok. There is nothing wrong with being focused on improvement, and pushing yourself. The only mistake is to do this exclusively. Once this happened, it is all too easy to lose sight of why you run.
When I find this happening, I like to go out for a nice slow run, with the intent of having as much fun as possible. For me, the ideal way to do this is to find the pace that feels best for my body. This usually means that I will start out very slow. Often the pace is so slow that it looks like I am doing a very fast walk. I don’t worry about it, I just do what feels good. Running in this manner allows me to get properly warmed up, which is always a path to a fun run. Then something happens. Without meaning to, I start to pick up the pace. It is not because I want to get faster. It is not because I have scheduled some speedwork. It is because picking up my pace happens to feel right. The acceleration starts off gradually, but by the end of the run, I am often going faster than I would be if I was doing speed work. The best part is that it does not feel like work. By taking away the pressure of an assigned workout, my body naturally picks a pace (which is often fast) all on its own. Running in this manner always leads to a workout that leaves me feeling great after I am done.
At the end of the day, I don’t get paid to run. I run for myself. I run to be healthy. I run to feel good. I run to have fun. The more I let my runs happen organically, the more I am in touch with why I run. This is something worth remembering.