Running with Joy. Ryan Hall.

[ I’m so far behind on my “reading notebook,” but I’ll try to catch up over the next week or two!  Or three… ]

Going in to  this year’s Boston Marathon, I was a little low on running confidence due to slight lack of motivation and subsequent fairly light training load.  The night before I was reading the BAA’s Competitor’s Guide and found an excerpt from Ryan Hall’s new book, Running with Joy.  It was pretty good, so I downloaded the book to my kindle app.  I thought that if I read the introduction and his entry on race day that very night, that maybe I’d find a little spark…

The book starts with a couple of Bible verses, though this one is most relevant:

These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. — JOHN 15:11

Goes well with the 1st catechism in the Westminister Shorter Catechism:

What is the chief end of man?  Man’s chief end is to glorify God an to enJOY Him forever…

Most of the book is Hall’s training journal along with his thoughts and reflections leading up to Boston last year.   Hall is a very devout Christian and walks (runs?) with God in all he does, as he reflects on his running, racing, and life as he journals his training.

The final entry covers the actual 2010 race for Hall, when, though he didn’t win, he found what he was looking for — Joy in running.  I do think the book helped me find my own Joy in the 2011 race.  I ran much faster than I expected I would (could!), and I had joy for most of the race!  The final six miles were a bit of a slog, but I only slowed a little and I’m still quite happy with how I ran.

A few quotes:

  • My body responds best when I go to the well only on race day.
  • Being okay with running slower than I have before and being patient enough to not force all my workouts to be at that same level is very challenging.
  • The only way to prepare for the pavement is to practice on the pavement.
  • In a world where it is all about the guy on the top step of the podium and we are defined and define ourselves by the time on our watch, at the end of the day I am trying to spread the word that it ultimately isn’t all about that.
  • Enjoyment is a big part of unlocking our hidden potential.
  • Pushing yourself to the brink is an acquired skill. It develops with time and practice and takes self-confidence and the boldness to test the body’s limit.
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2 thoughts on “Running with Joy. Ryan Hall.

  1. Alicia Parr

    Some great messages in this post. I know I can go to the well maybe a couple times a year and adjust my expectations accordingly. Letting go of the “need” to be at peak performance all of the time (or even much of the time) is very liberating– and makes it easier to find the JOY IN DOING. The joy in doing is the real point anyway.

    Reply
  2. seanb724 Post author

    Alicia, I agree — the joy is in doing… There is joy in doing well, of course, and knowing you stretched yourself and your abilities. But having fun is always my 1st goal. :-)

    Reply

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