Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown

342: Find Your Joy

January 18, 2024 Angie Brown
Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown
342: Find Your Joy
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt like you're running someone else's race, chasing goals that don't quite fit? This week, we get real about the pursuit of joy in running, breaking free from the comparison trap, and tuning into your own personal happiness frequency. Just like finding that perfect radio station in a rental car, we discuss how crucial it is to listen to your own rhythm in running, rather than getting lost in the static of others' expectations.

Sometimes, the path to joy in running takes us on different routes. It's an invitation to redefine what success and fun look like to you in the world of running. Whether you're a marathon enthusiast or a weekend warrior, we encourage you to carve out your personal benchmarks for accomplishment. Remember, the joy of running is as varied and personal as your favorite vacation spot – it's all about finding what fits your life, your goals, and, most importantly, your joy. Join us on this intimate trip down the runner's lane, where every step is a celebration of your individual journey.


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Speaker 1:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, episode number 342. Find your joy. If you're looking for ways to bring more joy into your running and you want to be a physically and mentally stronger runner, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, and we're your hosts, kevin and Angie Brown. Thanks for spending some time with us today.

Speaker 1:

Now let's get running this is the Real Life Runners podcast. Welcome to today's episode. Today we're talking about finding your joy. Not finding someone else's joy or finding what you think should be joy, but finding your joy, because running looks different for everyone and oftentimes I think that we get stuck trying to fit our own joy into someone else's box. We try to compare ourselves to others. I shouldn't say we try to compare ourselves to others. We just naturally do.

Speaker 2:

We just do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we naturally compare ourselves to others or look at what other people are doing and say, well, I guess that's what I need to be doing too. I guess that's what will quote unquote make me a real runner. And today we want to talk about why that's not the case. How, in fact, you need to figure out what's going to bring you joy in your running journey, and that might look a lot different than everybody else that you talk to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, you're completely correct of trying to, I think, cram your joy into somebody else's vision of joy, like, well, they look really happy doing that, so if I do that, I'll be really happy also.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that just doesn't usually work out that way. I think that when we approach it with that sort of mentality, it ends up in a lot of dissatisfaction, because, like you said, we see other people enjoying certain things and we think, okay, well, if I just then do those things, I will then experience that level of joy or satisfaction or accomplishment or pride. And then you end up doing those things and maybe don't end up with those feelings, and then you think that something's wrong with you.

Speaker 2:

All right, I got a metaphor for you straight off the bat, love it. In the whole idea of what brings you joy. You ever get a rental car and you go in and you turn the car on and it's not your radio station. It used to. It was bringing somebody else joy, but it might have been the guy at the rental car place who changed the station to his station as he had to, like, move the car through the parking lot, or it could be the people that had rented that for like a week. That was their station, but it's not bringing you joy because you do not like whatever music is coming out at you right now. It's a very simple example, but it's trying to be like well, somebody else enjoyed this radio station, so I have to enjoy this radio station. We wouldn't. We would very easily just change the dial and yet somehow, with running, we're like well, look, they're having fun doing it. I have to have fun doing that same thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I don't think that we think about that consciously of like I have to have fun doing that same thing. No, no, of course not, but we just see other people having fun with it or accomplishing certain things and we look at other people's accomplishments and say, wow, that looks so cool. I think I should try that, and that is a great approach to starting anything.

Speaker 2:

I think right.

Speaker 1:

Like that's how I got into running my first half marathon is. I saw you run yours and it was just such an amazing accomplishment. I was like I wonder if I could do that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but it was more than just seeing me run it. You saw a lot of people run it and have all sorts of different experiences. You also saw the pain of training and racing. You saw me afterwards and you still signed up and went for it.

Speaker 1:

And it was only because of that green shirt and I didn't end up getting my darn green shirt. You ended up running the race with the green shirt, like, literally, guys, the reason that I chose the half marathon that I chose was because I at that time, for whatever reason, I was really into lime green, like lime neon green. And so I found a race that the race shirt was a lime neon green color and I decided that that was the race that I was going to do. But then I ended up finding out that I was pregnant with our second baby and so I couldn't do that race. So then Kevin ended up doing that race and he got the shirt instead of me.

Speaker 2:

And then you signed up for the race I think the next year and they gave you a lime green shirt, but it wasn't a tech shirt, it was a t-shirt. I swear you have a lime green shirt, but you were so annoyed because it was in t-shirt. Was that a different race? That was a different race.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that was my first half marathon and it wasn't a lime green, it was just like my first. The Palm Beach is half marathon that I did, like the-.

Speaker 2:

But it wasn't a techie shirt. It wasn't a tech shirt.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that was my issue. I mean, my very first half marathon ever was a t-shirt and not a tech shirt and I was like what the heck is this? Yeah, I was not happy about that. I mean now I don't care at all.

Speaker 2:

Now you don't care at all. I mean, when I got into running everything was a t-shirt, Like I didn't own a techie shirt outside of my uniform.

Speaker 1:

Right, and the funny thing is I don't even like tech shirts really. Now, you know, like long sleeve or short sleeve tech shirts. I never wear those. I think I find them so uncomfortable because I either run in a tank top, no shirt at all and just a sports bra or long sleeves if it's cold outside.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, those are your options.

Speaker 1:

Like I have one short sleeve tech shirt that I run in and it was it's from the Key West half marathon, and part of that's because I like I really don't like women's cuts shirts right. Like I prefer like a unisex cut sizing. Like I really hate cap sleeves. Really cap sleeves, they're the best Cap sleeves and a v-neck oh God, extra tight fitting under the armpits, and that's the thing right Like and this is the other thing that I learned too this is, like totally off the topic of our joy, except maybe not.

Speaker 2:

No, it's not at all.

Speaker 1:

Like I've decided like. So, growing up I had body image issues and I always wanted to be smaller. I always thought of myself as overweight, thought that I was, you know, too big, and so when I finally did get smaller, actually have a smaller body, like from running and working out and starting to eat right when I was a smaller person, I and finally fit into size small right Size small was like my. I actually fit into a size small. I felt like I had to order a size small as like some sort of proof to myself that I was a smaller human right, that I could be in a size small, which is ridiculous. Now I realize this and how a medium is just more comfortable, because I like more loose, fitting types of shirts, because that they're just more comfortable. I've never been the kind of person that really likes tight fitting clothing, and probably part of that was a big part because I wasn't comfortable with my body growing up right, so I never was into wearing tight fitting clothes. But now I've, like just had this realization recently which is so ridiculous, right? Is that just because I can fit into a size small doesn't mean I need to order a size small. I can order one size up, because it's just more comfortable.

Speaker 2:

So you'd rather lounge around in mediums and run in skin tight clothing? What you run in like half tights and like tight shorts all the time. Like you would rather generally run in tights than well, like the short tights over running shorts.

Speaker 1:

That's true, I do. I do like to wear tights. Yeah, you just announced.

Speaker 2:

I don't like tight fitting clothes, but what did you run in this morning?

Speaker 1:

This morning I ran in the sports bra and essentially like what people think of as like biker shorts.

Speaker 2:

Yeah right, those are both tight.

Speaker 1:

That's true. So there you go. I fully supported the look that throws that out the window.

Speaker 2:

But it's funny that you stopped wearing smalls and I decided post college that I actually did not fit into large and both of us, brought to the middle of it turns out medium is the correct size for both of us.

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean, I still wear a lot of smalls. It's just like there are certain times, depending on what kind of a shirt it is, that I will, and tech shirt a short sleeve tech shirt is one of those things. Like a small short sleeve tech shirt to me is the most uncomfortable thing. Like I don't even want it. Like you can keep your short sleeve tech shirt. I like the long sleeve ones.

Speaker 2:

Excellent. Yeah, I know Sometimes you take mine. I just decided that I needed to stop looking like the kid at the end of big and I should wear clothes that actually fit me. I think is the best approach. Anyway, let's try and bring this back onto point. Well, sort of back on the point, the whole setup for this episode was not rooted in finding joy. This was not where we started when we were like, let's come up with a podcast, what should we talk about today? Joy was not the first word that was not the first word either one of us came up with.

Speaker 1:

It was actually funny because Kevin was heading out for his run today and he said Okay, what, what are your ideas for the podcast for this week? So, because you know, when Kevin heads out to run, he oftentimes does not take his headphones with him. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't, just kind of depends. But it's a great time for Kevin to think on things. I think that running is just a great time for all of us to think on things. And so he'll sometimes go out and say, okay, what's the topic this week? And then he'll think about it on his run so that he can process through his thoughts and his ideas and come back and we can record our podcast. And so I was sitting at the at the counter eating my breakfast because I had already run and I said I don't know how about running sucks.

Speaker 2:

So I went off on my run and I got in my little running loop and I was ready. I had a list of reasons and justifications. We had hours of podcasts for why. Why? Running sucks.

Speaker 1:

Because it does sometimes on occasion. There's nothing wrong with that.

Speaker 2:

And and that's fine, and I think I don't think that should necessarily be the title of this episode.

Speaker 1:

Not this episode, but I think that we should do an episode entitled running sucks at some point and we can have all sorts of people right in exactly why and the detailed stories specific very specific stories of an exact instance when it really did not go smooth for actually sounds pretty fun to like you know, just having a handful, not a handful, just like a a plethora of stories of why running sucks or the times that running has sucked for other people.

Speaker 2:

We just opened that up to the real life runner community. We would get plenty of emails of oh what about this time? It'd be fun? They keep trying to like one up each other. Be great.

Speaker 1:

I think it's a good idea. So if you guys are listening to this and you have a running sucks story, please email me, angie, at realliferunnerscom. Okay, so today, what we decided to actually turn this episode into was find your joy, because there are times that it's true that running does suck, and sometimes it's because you're not feeling good on your run. Sometimes it's for other reasons, but I have a list, yeah, A big overarching principle I think of. Why it sucks sometimes is because we are trying to fit our running into someone else's box or into someone else's definition of what running should be or how running should feel, or what means success in running. And today we want you to think about this differently, because what we want you to think about is what is your definition of joy when it comes to running? Because fun is subjective and running we believe that running should be fun, otherwise, why are you doing it? Right, there's a lot of ways to get in shape there. You can lift weights, you can do Pilates, you can cycle, you can swim, you can do yoga. There's tons of great ways to move your body and to get in shape and to just be a fit and healthy person. You do not have to be a runner to be a fit and healthy person. So running, doing that activity, there needs to be some level of fun and or joy and or joy, because fun is not the same as joy. And we can maybe talk about the definition of joy, even though we didn't really outline that. But I think that joy is a different thing. But so joy and fun in general is subjective, and I think that oftentimes we think that there's something that we should do I'm going to put that in air quotes that we should be doing to be a real runner, and oftentimes that leads us to just feeling dissatisfied or not good enough, because what it is that we think we quote unquote should do might be different than what someone else is doing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 100%. I mean, you've got two different runners, both of whom could have a blast as a runner, both really truly enjoy it, and they could be training for completely different things and, from a pure coaching perspective, what they should be doing of one person training for a 5k and another person training for a 50k, what they should be doing according to like coaching theory is different. Like, actually, in terms of like correct and incorrect training, those would be very different setups for what they should be doing. But so many of us are just like oh well, I have to be, I should be running more days out of the week. I should be strength training more. That person goes off and they do a long run of two hours on the weekend. I should be doing a long run for two hours on the weekend, maybe. Maybe, if two hour long run on the weekend one fits your life to, you have any enjoyment with it and fits whatever running goal you're going for. Like, there are different things that you quote unquote should be doing in terms of actually optimizing your training, let alone optimizing your fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I like to think of this with a very simple example, which is everyone has a different idea of what fun is or what a vacation should look like. There are some people that for vacation they're like put me on a beach, I want to lie on that beach, I want to fall asleep, I want to maybe have some drinks and some cocktails or some mock tales, I want to read a book and I just want to lay on the beach all day long. And there are other people that say that sounds terrible, that sounds super boring. Give me a mountain so I can just go hike in the mountains for eight hours every single day, and I want to put my body through this challenge of hiking and seeing different views and beautiful views and finding waterfalls, you know. And then there are people that love to ski or that love to go and travel into exotic locations and go on safari or there you know there is. There are so many different ways that people envision their vacations and none of them are right and none of them are wrong. They're just different versions of vacation and it's whatever you think you want to be doing in that moment, in that specific vacation, that will lead to the most fun and the most enjoyment in that particular situation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean the the vacation example is great and that's why family vacations are always interesting, because everybody has to be sort of having fun in generally the same location, yeah, which can create some intrigue, tension, uh-huh and sometimes frustration. The mom of the family suggests that we could go for a short hike, and what one person defines as short and what?

Speaker 1:

seven miles.

Speaker 2:

What the kids define as short are a very, very different things. And, and as many times as you say waterfalls, that does not necessarily continue to inspire people to keep walking forward.

Speaker 1:

I think it should I know you do.

Speaker 2:

If we would just eventually get to a waterfall and we did, we would eventually find a waterfall, but the one time we had to turn around before we could get there, because seven miles is sometimes too far, and that led to some disappointment on my end, because I did not communicate clearly my expectations or waterfalls Right, or I maybe had my expectations were too large for that particular vacation. And that was I mean. It wasn't trying to put your fun into somebody else's boxes, it was trying to put their fun into your box.

Speaker 1:

Right. But the same issue is there was a conflict, is it didn't have everybody's fun being being checked and yeah, and that's where it gets difficult, like you said, when everybody's definition of fun is a little bit different and it's you have to kind of get to that compromise place where you can find something that everyone will enjoy, or at least pieces of it they will enjoy, or well, if we do this, then we'll also do this, so that we'll make sure that we're both getting pieces that we really like on this vacation as a whole.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 100 percent. I mean this is when I used to coach cross country and track. People would ask me all the time which one do you prefer? And I'm like they both have positives. So I'm not sure I prefer one, because sometimes I would say cross country, sometimes I'd say track. They're very different. But one of my favorite things about coaching track is there are so many events, there are so many options for kids and there are a lot of kids that we had on the team, whether cross country or track, that the main reason they were doing it was to hang out with this group of people, like they had friends on the team. This is how they got together. This is how they hung out. They had like an overall picture of. This is also like a healthy thing for me to be doing, but I don't really want to go out in the heat of August and race of 5k. So when that person then flipped around and did track in the spring, they did the 100 and 200 and they were not necessarily great at it, but they still got to go out, move their body generally, be healthy and they their event was done in less than 20 seconds. They did not have to go run a 5k in the heat of the fall of South Florida, right, but they still got to move themselves and they had a blast. Which one was better? Well, in that case I liked track because that person had more joy. They still had joy in cross country because their friends were there, but it just gave them. It gave them more options and so I feel like that kind of opened up a little bit of fun to everybody. You know, it's like coaching inside of real life runners. Like we've got people that are training for 5k, 10k, half full ultra, all sorts of different things training just to get stronger. There's a whole wide variety and as long as people are striving for a goal, I love coaching them. Like pick a thing that you'd like to go for and let's start moving towards that. So in that case track was kind of more entertaining. It had drawbacks, but those were different.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that that kind of highlights, like your own definition of fun, can also change depending on your life, right? Like there are some people that we have in cross country that would go on and do track in the spring because and they genuinely liked both right, they liked cross country, they also liked track. But there are other people that would enjoy their time in cross country and then they would go on and play lacrosse or something else in the spring, and it's not that they didn't like running and it's not that they liked, you know, necessarily one over the other, which I mean sometimes they did, for you know for sure they would consider themselves all across player versus a runner, and that's fine. But I think that a lot of them just genuinely enjoyed both. And that just shows you that there can be different things that we enjoy in different seasons of our life, like I mean this one in a very literal different sports seasons, right, the fall season versus the spring season at in high school. But your own definition of fun changes depending on your life. You know, like I think about what we used to do and what we used to call fun when we were in our 20s, when we were going out to bars and clubs and college and grad school and partying all the time. Not maybe not all the time, that's, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but like on the weekends when we would go out and we would party with our friends or Tuesdays or well, that's true. Like our senior year of college, there was definitely like the bar that you went to every night. There was like the Tuesday bar, the Wednesday bar, the Thursday bar, depending on which one, which night you were, you were going out. I didn't personally didn't use, I didn't go out like every night in the same week.

Speaker 2:

No, you had to pick your week.

Speaker 1:

Which way, which day you're going out that week?

Speaker 2:

Right, it was hard and easy days, and by hard and easy I mean for your liver, hard and easy days, yes exactly.

Speaker 1:

But, like you know, that was a definition of fun senior year of college. But now definition of fun is definitely not going out to the clubs Like definition of fun now would be family game night or having people over for dinner and cooking a delicious meal and enjoying some nice wine and talking all night long, right, like that would be more of my definition of fun now, versus like getting dressed up and going out to a club.

Speaker 2:

I mean, if I could have gotten more people to sign up for family game night senior year, I definitely would have done that more often. I don't know how many people would have done it. Yeah, but I think if you really let people be like no, no, no, choose which one do you actually want to do, and, no judgment, figure out which one's going to actually bring you greater joy, I think more people would have been like I don't want to pay a cover charge and have really loud music and in order to talk to my friends I have to scream as loud as possible. Like actually heading over to your apartment and playing a board game might actually be kind of entertaining.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that that kind of measures up exactly with what we're talking about here. Exactly Right Is that we feel we felt like at the time, in order to hang out with our friends or in order to be cool or to have a good time that's what we needed to do, because that's what everyone else was doing.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I had a girlfriend and she was going out, so I had to be cool and go out with her.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she seems interesting but, like the thing is, we were measuring our own definition of fun or creating our definition of fun based on what other people were doing around us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, go with the group.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and so we oftentimes then default to that in running, also Right. And that kind of leads us into the second part here, like part number one. Yeah, fun is subjective, right. What is your definition of fun? Right? What do you like to do? What Sounds really interesting to you in your running journey, in your fitness journey right now? And then the second thing we want to talk about is what is success? And the cool thing here is that you get to measure your own success, because so many times we measure our success by someone else's standards and oftentimes that leads us to feeling not good enough, right? I think that in running, a very common way that some people like to define success would be a Boston qualifying time. Right? If you are a marathon runner, or maybe if you're not a marathon runner yet and you think that you want to start running marathons, a BQ is often the gold standard for a lot of runners, right? They think that I want to run a BQ.

Speaker 2:

I've been asked this. Most times people realize that I've run or that I've run marathons. One of the early questions especially people that like they know running but they don't do a lot of running themselves One of the very early questions is have you done Boston? Not even have you qualified, because they don't even quite understand the qualifying process. They just will ask have you done Boston?

Speaker 1:

Right, and so a BQ or a Boston qualifying time is the measure of success for a lot of people, even people that don't even know what they're talking about. Like, that's kind of your point here, but that is not the only definition of success at all. Right, there are plenty of runners, and you know Steve Magnus is one of these runners who I love when he talks about this concept too. He is one of the like. He's a running prodigy. He's a very successful runner. He had a very successful running career himself, went on to be a very successful running coach. Right, he's never run a marathon and has no desire to run a marathon.

Speaker 2:

None. Right, but he ran like a 401 mile right, he was the fastest high schooler when he was a senior.

Speaker 1:

Right, he never broke four. Right, he was the one that never broke four. Yeah, he went to college and kept trying for years and never quite did it Right. But he's still at a very successful high school and college career Very and went on. Did he run after college?

Speaker 2:

as well.

Speaker 1:

Little bit, yeah. So still like, by a lot of definitions. A very successful runner has no desire and has talked about never running. He's talked about never not having a desire to run a marathon right now, and that's okay, right Like. And he talks often about how he thinks that the 5k is actually the hardest distance in running. So isn't that interesting, right? So many people think, oh well, if you haven't done a marathon, then you're not a quote unquote real runner or you're not whatever definition of a runner you have or someone else has. But here's this very excellent runner and running coach saying actually, guys, the 5k, I believe, is the hardest race, and if you can get better at the 5k, that's a lot harder than getting better at the marathon. What an interesting perspective.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, every race distance is so difficult. Every race distance that you run all have their own ridiculous challenges, and part of this goes back to what do you see as fun and what do you see as as a challenge. That's something that you want to go for, like. Is that a challenge that you want to climb? Because running a 5k is basically trying to live. If you like, look at the heat on your, on your car when you rev the engine. If you put it up to like the orange, you can't live there for very long. That's running a 5k Like. You want to just live in that orange. Your engine's not quite overheating, but not in the red yet. but man, is it awfully close. That's your best chance of running a very fast 5k. Is you kind of have to live in orange, which sounds awful and is like it just is? There's a line in one of the pre-fontein movies where they are like every guy on the starting line right here has the same thing in common they understand the concept of pain and like that really does summarize a very fast 5k.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and so if that sounds fun to you, like exploring your limit in that way and exploring your limit in speed, then maybe the 5k right, maybe even the mile is something that you want to explore. If you're someone that wants to explore your limit as far as distance goes, then maybe you do want to get into 10k half marathon, marathon, ultra marathon right, and you're the only one that can make that decision. Right, like, would you rather chase a faster time or would you rather chase a longer distance? And the important thing here, when we talk, go back to measuring your own success. It's important for you to know where you are right now so that you can measure your progress, not just compare yourself to someone else's standards, right, like there are a lot of people out there that say, well, I want to run a 30 minute 5k or a sub 30 minute 5k. Or there's other people that say I want to run a sub two hour half marathon. But why says who right, like, who put that out there as the standard and why is that important to you?

Speaker 2:

Right. And then all these numbers are essentially arbitrary, Like if you have two runners that come across the finish line of a local 5k in 24 minutes. They've both come across together right around 24 minutes. Who had the more successful run?

Speaker 1:

So here's the. And this is a great example, right, because if you and I yeah, both came across in 24 minutes, I would be very happy with my time.

Speaker 2:

You would not be but depends on the goal, right, okay? So the way that I type this into the outline is you've got two runners one of them has a PR of 25 minutes and one of them has a PR of 20 minutes, and they both come across in 24. Who had the better race? And a lot of people would be like, oh well, the 25 minute person, because they PR by a minute. Great. What if the 20 minute runner had a goal of 750 per mile tempo run? Maybe that was their goal. Maybe their goal was to see how close to 24 minutes I can do at a nice, even pace. They were incredibly successful. What kind of adversities did they face on the run? Did somebody like want to drop out a half mile in because they started getting super bad side stitches? Oh well, they overcame that. So that was really impressive. Pr or not, that was something they came over. Who was still smiling afterwards? Maybe not as they crossed the finish line, but who was really happy about their performance later? If they were both happy, I think they both won. Who had the better one? It's very, very subjective, because you get to define your own success those runners get to define. You actually don't get to choose who had the better 5k. It's a hypothetical for our podcast, because the hypothetical runner gets to decide. Was that a successful race for myself, irrelevant of the other person crossing the hypothetical finish line in 24 minutes?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that's very important, right, and it kind of opens it up to even the bigger question of would you rather chase these time goals short term or be healthy for the rest of your life? What is your definition of success? Because there are people out there that will show you how to get faster in the short term and it will work, but you might be destroying your body in the process. Is that something that you want to do? Or do you want to play more of the long game and look at okay, my goal is to keep running for as long as I can and also improve and make progress during that time. That's because you say, yes, I want to run for the rest of my life and I want to be healthy, like my overall goal is healthier. That doesn't mean you can't chase performance goals either, like that's not. Those two are not separate from each other. You can both train in a very healthy and sustainable way and chase performance and chase progress. You just have to know which one is your priority and how you're measuring your overall success.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what's the phrase? You like both and is a. So yeah, you don't have to chase short term time goals or be healthy for the rest of your life, like you can continue to chase improvement. I think the the one thing that you can't do on this one is healthy for the rest of your life and short cutting your short term time goals. Okay, because there are plenty of coaches out there more on like a professional level, not so much on a weekend warrior, recreational runner who have all sorts of ways that you can shortcut the system. They got all sorts of things up in needles and drugs and various things that you can shortcut the system, and they've. I mean that survey is from a long time ago that I'm referencing, where they talked about the Olympians of would you take an illegal performance enhancing drug If you knew it would take 20 years off of your life, but you were going to get a gold, and the number of Olympic athletes that said give me the gold was frightening. It was like through the roof. How many were like, yes, I want the gold medal and it's a different mind frame to them. That was the ultimate success. And so they were looking through those lenses. I think most people listening to this podcast are choosing can I be healthy for the rest of my life but also chase goals? I still want to chase goals. I don't want to shortcut it. I'll take a longer path. Maybe not necessarily I'll take a longer path. I think there's a lot of people that want the short path. They want to be successful in. Give me maybe two or three months, but I don't want to take forever. I'd like to chase these goals, but I still want to be healthy for the rest of my life.

Speaker 1:

You know, I think that it would be very interesting to talk to those same Olympians 20 or 30 years later, 40 years later once they've retired. Yes, Because if you ask them in the moment when you are performing at the level of an Olympian, you have to have blinders on. You have to Right, like that is part of the process, like you have to have blinders on your Olympic goal is the number one thing in your life, and other things automatically take a backseat, and so that's the lens that's they were all looking through at that time, right, and they answered the question through that lens. It'd be very interesting if you ask them 20 years removed from the Olympics, if they would, which decision they would make at that time. Yeah, I, I agree with that and it'd be very interesting to ask that same question to gold, silver and bronze metalists yeah, or people that just there's a difference that just made it to the Olympics yeah that didn't metal at all.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Like would you trade this now?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, you, you didn't get a medal. If we gave you a gold medal now, like, would you rather have a gold medal versus your non-metal winning Olympics? But we're, we're again. We're chopping 20 years off the end of your life, like, especially as you start getting. Athletes that are getting a little bit older now have kids.

Speaker 1:

That's what I'm saying, right.

Speaker 2:

Cause now.

Speaker 1:

Now maybe you're married, you have kids, you have other things that you're living for.

Speaker 2:

You see, the real world. You see the rest of it and it's not just your pure training blinders. Yeah, that's a very interesting question.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And but I think it's probably related to who was able to actually move on with their life, because you get a whole bunch of Olympic athletes, professional athletes and all sorts of sports that when they're sporting, career done is done, they're not sure who they are. They go into this spiral of depression because they lose their identity of well if. If that's not who I am, then I am no one, because that was a sole identity.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, which is another topic for another day but very very interesting to think about, right and to like hypothesize on, like what they would say during that time. Um, I wonder how long ago that study was run, do you remember?

Speaker 2:

early 2000s.

Speaker 1:

I want to say so we could go find those people and ask them again. Excellent.

Speaker 2:

Maybe they're listening to the podcast.

Speaker 1:

Maybe? Um, so ultimately, you know, when we talk about finding your joy and what is fun for you and you coming up with your own measure of success that ultimately leads to okay, well, what comes next? Right, choose your own running adventure. It reminds me of those books that we used to read when we were kids in the 1980s, of like, choose your own adventure books. You know, you get to the end of the page and you're like okay, if you want this, if you know, if you choose, you know A, just flip to page 63. And if you want to choose B, then flip to page 97.

Speaker 2:

Right and you got to always kept your thumb on that page in case you died, on page 97.

Speaker 1:

Right, but like which, what's your next choice? Right? So what sounds fun for you this year? Do you want to focus on road races or trail races, shorter distances or longer distances, distance or speed? Do you want to travel and go do some races or runs in various locations, or do you want to stay closer to home? Like what sounds fun for you this year?

Speaker 2:

So what sounds fun for you this year? Me, yeah, you.

Speaker 1:

Oh, um. Well, I've got a lot of different things going on this year, but trails I want to do. I want to do more trail races and I think that I want to actually do some races this year. Like I did not race last year, I did a 5k at the end of the year and it reminded me that it's it's good to push yourself sometimes and I haven't really been doing that. Like, I do speed work every Tuesday morning and I push myself, you know, on Tuesdays. But to go out and push myself over the the course of a race, um, whether it's distance or speed, I think sounds pretty cool. Um, so I would like to do some trail races. I would also like to do some traveling for races and race in different locations other than, you know, the roads of South Florida, that's good, I like that, the good variety.

Speaker 2:

And you, uh, I would like to get healthy again. Um is still where my mind is set and this is why, when you were like, yeah, running sucks, I was able to jump on board with that, because right now, running doesn't look the way that I usually like it to look, and this is part of the whole. Like where you're currently at does not necessarily have to be the most fun aspect of running, Cause sometimes to reach really big goals, you have to go through part of running that is not the most exciting. There are people that really do want to cross a marathon finish line and that doesn't mean that they're going to love every day of a marathon training plan, but they still really, really want it. And looking back, once they cross the finish line, maybe they're like, yeah, it was. It was some of those long distance runs and I didn't enjoy it at the time, but I'm glad that I did it. I'm glad of the transition, the transformation, the person that I became in all of this journey, and maybe they go off and they sign up for another marathon, but they've got. They've got their finishers met on there, super proud of that, because of the challenges and adversities and the not fun stuff that they went through. That's what I've currently got is I can't really train and push myself the way that I enjoy, so I'm currently dealing with other challenges mental challenges because I can't physically push myself as hard as I want to.

Speaker 1:

Okay, but that is really confined to this quarter, really quarter one of of running, of this running year, because your surgery is scheduled for March. There's going to obviously be a recovery period after that. That. You're going to have to take it easy. But what about the second half of the year? You know what? About what else? I think that you can start to look ahead to the second half of the year. Just because you're running isn't going well right now and isn't worried. What you want it to be right now. What Are you looking forward to later in the year?

Speaker 2:

Building mileage back up, trying to find new distance adventures, like at the, the post race of the, the last ultra that I did, there was somebody who was like, oh, have you, have you done a lot of these? And I was like, actually, this is the first finish line of an ultra I've ever made it to. And she was like, and you chose the hundred mile? Like well, it's not the first hundred mile starting line I've made it to, which is the first finish line. And she was like well, why didn't you do like a 50 miler? I'm like well, I've done it around my neighborhood, I've just never done it. So you know, you said that you didn't do any racing last year Did the? The school five K was yours. The idea of of just maybe trying different races is interesting to me, but I really do enjoy the idea of running loops around the neighborhood. I find that fun of being able to control the environment a little bit more, like not perfectly controlled, but control the environment a little bit more and doing loops and various challenges here. You like traveling, I like finding the five to seven mile loop around our house and being like I'm going to do that 12 times.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I like to explore on foot, so I think that that's more of what I would like to do is going to see different places and exploring more through running. I think that sounds really fun to me.

Speaker 2:

I like the idea of of trying to run races in different places because you would enjoy coming along for the ride and you would have a whole lot of fun with the, with the adventure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think it'd be cool for us to maybe do some of the same races with just different distances, like some of these trail runs that I'm looking into, like they have an eight mile, they have a 15 mile, they have a 50 mile, they've got various ultra options, and so I think it'd be fun if I were to do, you know, one of the shorter distances right now, and I know, cause that's where I am and that's what sounds fun to me, and you could do one of the longer ones, so we could just kind of go off for the weekend and do a race and then come back.

Speaker 2:

We might have to have somebody watch the kids.

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah, we'll have to talk to them about it. We'll figure that one out. We'll figure that one out, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Um, because we have to find something fun for them also, and maybe if there's a waterfall in the race we can convince them to hang out for a while. But maybe not.

Speaker 1:

I don't know. You never know. Things change. It changes year by year, right.

Speaker 2:

It really does.

Speaker 1:

All right. So ultimately, it's about you going out and finding your joy. What sounds fun for you this year? How do you want to define your success this year and what path do you want to take right now? And whatever you choose for this year does not necessarily have to be what you're choosing for the rest of your life. You know, maybe you do have a long-term goal and a long-term vision, and we encourage that. We want you guys to drink, dream big, and if you have a multi-year goal that you're chasing, that's fantastic, and if you're not, that's fantastic too right, because you might not want to have some huge goal. Maybe you don't have a time goal or a distance goal right now and you want to just kind of try different things out this year and see what you like the best. I think that's a great way to go. That's kind of where I'm sitting right now is like I just want to do some different things. You know, my friend actually texted me this morning and asked me about doing a Ragnar, and I would love to do that. You know, doing like a team race. I said something to her back in like 2019 about how we were going to do our Ragnar together in 2020 and you know, we all know what happened in 2020. So we still haven't done our Ragnar together and she just texted me and she said what about this one? So maybe that's going to be on the docket this year. Like that sounds really fun and exciting for me of a new way to connect with other runners and explore a new place in a new state. Like that I'm on board.

Speaker 2:

I mean the team relay really throws out the whole idea about, like, what race distance and how fast do I do, because you have to keep doing multiple legs of that. It makes running a whole new way of looking at it, because you're like, well, I'm going to run this random distance because that's how far the loop is, and then we're going to hang out in a car for a while or at this camping site and then keep going a little bit more. So, ed, I mean that's just a whole different level of fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I just like let's try it out and see how I like it. You know, like I've had friends that like love those, and other friends that have done those and won't do another one because they did not have a good time, and that's cool. But now you know, right, like I'm going to go do some stuff so I can try some different things out, because I've done a bunch of road races. I've done 5Ks, 10ks, half marathons, I've done all those things. I don't really have a desire right now to do a road marathon, but like doing a trail ultra somehow seems more intriguing to me than a road marathon. Like who knows, right, like there are things out there that don't make sense.

Speaker 2:

No, that makes complete sense. Because you would rather, because also because you never ran cross country in high school, so you're not quite sure how dirty you get in such a short period of time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I have no idea what this entails, so this should be interesting, it's going to be a blast, blastie, blast, all right, so come find us guys. If you're not following us yet on Instagram, at real life runners, or on Facebook, come find us and send me a message, because I would. I love hearing from our podcast listeners. Send me a message and let me know what is something you want to try out this year, what is something that is going to help that you think might bring you joy this year, that you want to try out in your running, because I would love to hear it. So, as always, if you guys found this message helpful, if you found this podcast helpful, please hit that share button, share it with a friend that you think could benefit from this, or share it on social media and let your friends know what you're listening to, so that we can help more runners to find their joy and to train in a way that's right for them. And, as always, thank you for your time. Thank you for being here with us. This is the real life runners podcast, episode number 342. Now get out there and run your life.

Finding Your Joy in Running
Finding Joy in Running
Defining Fun and Success in Running
Exploring Fun Running Options and Goals