Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In the Long Run.

It started as a bit of a lark. People told me I should run a 5K with my wife. I wasn't a runner, but I was rather fit. So I did it. Then I became a runner.

At first I dreaded the longer distances. "How am I going to run four miles, three was hard enough." "Six miles, I'll never make it!" 

Now four miles is an easy day and six is speed work. I'm not running huge distances, 13.1 has been my longest, but lately I crave long run day.

A long run is my  chance to get away from everything else and just go. No headphones for me, no GPS, all I need is a look at a map to decide where I'm turning around and a stop watch to keep me honest about my effort level.

I like to disappear into my effort, to feel the rhythm of my feet and breath counting in 6/8 time. To feel the sun, or rain, or wind on my skin. To struggle up the hills and fly down them. Sometimes time seems to stop while I'm out there on the long run. Some days I don't want to stop, I just want to keep going, and going. . . It feels good.

I'm not sure when I stopped dreading and started craving the long runs, but I am glad I did. They are my chance to clear my mind, or to daydream. They are my chance to process my week or forget about it, or both. Whatever my thoughts are on the run I come back feeling cleansed.

I can't wait for my 11 miler this weekend.