Running – just for fun!

Don’t get me wrong, I love to run. Training runs, races, parkruns – I mostly enjoy them. I train because I love to race events, and I want to do my best in every event I do. The training is  (mostly) enjoyable because I can see where it is leading.

‘Fun Run’ is a weird term for me. City-Bay Fun Run, which I’ve now run 4 times (most recently 2 weeks ago), to me is a serious affair, and although I have had some great runs in that event, I would never describe it as ‘Fun’. For many people, it is ALL about fun. I presume those people in gorilla costumes were enjoying themselves! 

I know plenty of people who don’t do many events, so they run purely for enjoyment and fitness. Sometimes I’d like to be like them…

Sometimes, I do run purely for fun. I might get some kind of bonus training benefit out of it, but there’s no particular goal. I’m not trying to run a specific pace, get a certain amount of ‘vert’ or test out any new gear.

This weekend was just one of those runs. Originally I had planned to hit up the Heysen Trail with Heysen training buddy Kate to run a section of the 105km course, but then Kate arranged to go away for the long weekend so I had the rare luxury of being able to choose from a few different group runs, or even not run at all (as if that was even an option, although I was 1 week post ultramarathon, so I could have been forgiven for having a sleep-in, especially considering that Daylight Saving started on Sunday so we lost an hour of sleep!)

As it turned out, I would also end up doing a 22km section of Heysen, on the holiday Monday, with a group, but this was more of a reccy than a training run – the idea being to see whether the course was still safe after the extraordinary weather events of recent weeks, and if any deviations would need to be made from the Heysen Trail for the actual race in 3 weeks time.

Sunday’s options were a 12km trail run through Cleland, part of which we had run just last week as part of Yurrebilla, or a road run, I’m not sure of the distance. Given that for the rest of this year my only road races are 5k races, I felt that a long road run was not necessary, so I opted to hit the trails. It would be interesting to see how much damage had been done by last week’s storms.

Beck was keen on the trail run too, although like me was not so keen on the 7:15am meeting time (effectively 6:15!) However, we both made it in plenty of time and given the short distance, we both just opted for a handheld bottle rather than a hydration pack.

It was just a really nice, enjoyable, FUN, 12k. There had definitely been a lot of damage, with many trees down (which we had to decide whether to go over or under!), a lot of new creeks, and some very slippery mud in sections. I was so grateful that it wasn’t like this for Yurrebilla!

We walked up many of the hills, chatting all the way, and even stopped for a few photos. The weather was kind to us too, with both of us quite comfortable in singlets and shorts, and with no hint of rain (which was a nice bonus because we had been anticipating rain!). 

Another bonus was running into some of the girls from our Tuesday and Friday running groups, at one of our favourite post-run coffee haunts, who had done a different run that morning but in a similar area. And for the first time since winter started, we were able to sit outside and enjoy the glorious sunshine!
I must remember, once in a while, to get back to nature and just run for fun!


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