When I started running back in September 2013, I had a clear goal in mind: to be able to run 10km (see my Introduction post for some background there). I ran until my body screamed at me to take a rest. In January 2014 when I started back up again, I had a very deliberate goal in mind again: run 10km without injuring myself (see my initial January training goal post). So over the last eight months, I have always run with a very clear goal in mind. During that time, I have clocked intervals, run to improve my time, and run to build muscle in targeted areas.
But now I feel like my body is at a point where I am able to relax and enjoy my runs a little bit more. I am not worried about injuring myself from pushing hard on short run or extending my distance in modest amounts. I feel like I have enough muscle built up around my knees to sustain three runs per week of moderate distance.
Over the last couple of weeks, since I posted about defining new goals (see post here), I have run simply for the pure enjoyment of running. With the spring weather warming up, the grass, leaves, and flowers coming in, I have simply been running to enjoy the outdoors, listening to the sounds of birds, leaves, and my runners hitting the gravel. Part of this decision has also stemmed from my recent thoughts about whether to listen to music or not (see post here) - I have left my headphones at home and just listened to the sounds around me instead.
While this is not necessarily the way things will always go for me, for the next little while, I am running simply for the enjoyment of it. It has now become a deliberate choice to not set any goals and to simply let my body guide me.
Here are a couple of pictures I've taken recently on my relaxed runs.