On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, April 12, 2010

What a glorious feeling!

It's easy to sit here at my computer, thinking of reasons not to run.  Some days, it's hard (or impossible) to get out the door and just do it.  Other days, I do it and it's not that good.  The way running builds - day after day, in small increments - it's easy to lose sight of improvements.  I'm not going to be better tomorrow or next week and maybe not even the week after that.  It's easy to forget why I do it.

There are so many things I do that exist to distract me from running: watching my Garmin instead of feeling my pace, listening to music instead of listening to my body, watching tv on the treadmill instead of the scenery around me.  Counting down the miles instead of enjoying the experience.  Taking my stresses with me on the road and feeling weighted down by them.

After 8 days off of running, I went for a run on Saturday.  The weather was absolutely perfect: mid 50s and sunny and gorgeous.  I felt great and refreshed - maybe a little trouble breathing (allergy season), but no biggie.  When a friend called me 2m into my run, I walked home while talking to her the rest of the way.  You see, I was running too fast.  I know that it's normal to speed up in spring when the weather's this gorgeous.  I know that I was on completely fresh legs.  But, I knew that if I did all 5m at that pace, I risked being cooked for Sunday's race.  So, I'm happy I got out there, I'm happy I enjoyed the day, and I'll get back into running regularly later this week, post-race.  It was a great, great day and an awesome (albeit short) run.

That feeling - that fleeting feeling of peace and happiness and joy - that is why I run.

Also?  I caught a glimpse of my reflection mid-run and realized why I'd been getting honked at and why I'd had such a cool, breezy feeling during my run.  I also realized why I don't wear that particular running skirt very often - HELLO, Tracy's legs, completely exposed by the short, flippy skirt.  TMI, but for your eyes.

Race report to follow tomorrow.

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