|Amazing trail around Mt. Rainier.|
Not all, some are intrigued by the fact that I want to run mile after mile, gaining distance year after year. They usually at some time in the past ran themselves... it takes them back and they share their stories and I see that familiar smile and I LOVE talking to them.
But every once in awhile I get to talk to someone else who runs. They may run a few miles, they may be open to running farther. For me... lately... and for awhile, when I chat, I focus on footwear, zero drop minimalistic footwear. I am into it, I am excited it, about all the new development and what I have deemed the race to the lightest. Then there is sharing trails, distances, the why's, the races and the partner stories. In the end, it is usually the best conversation of the day. I am left excited for my next run.
|Cooling down during a run on the South Yuba Trail.|
I have been a runner for almost 20 years. It is one of the first things I remember developing a preference for. I decided I wanted to run cross country in Jr. High so the year before I had my father design me a loop around the property. He would encourage my running style and help me push myself. I didn't have the knowledge of nutrition at the time so side cramps were common and I learned to relax and breathe, to move through them. At around 11 years old.
I don't really understand why I was drawn to it. As I grew up I would always joke that my running had little to do with physical health and more to do with mental health. I ran to "clear" my head. To keep me sane. Again as a teen ager I had not yet began to understand the mind-body connection. I really never focused on the part of health class where they tell you that physical activity releases endorphins. I still had not even heard of the concept of movement meditation. I just knew that I enjoyed it. That I ran because it served as an outlet for built up energy. That at the end of a run, I would FEEL better, calmer, more relaxed and happier.
|Look at me. Being all happy and relaxed.|
During this time I wasn't necessarily pushing myself. Most of my runs were between 2-5 miles. And I have never stuck to a schedule. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have met some great runners. My three best gal pals are runners. I have experienced "breakthrough" runs...by running with these women. By "breakthrough" runs, I mean I set out for a run... of my normal length with them and something about their pace and the energy far exceeded my expectations. Through those, I have raised the bar on my expectations of what I can do. And it continues to grow.
What am I aiming for Now...
I am trying to stick to a schedule, going against my nature, but just trying to get out for decent distance 4-5 days a week with one long run on the weekend. I impulse bought a marathon a few months ago and that date is fast approaching, thank you Rebecca! The Black Mountain Marathon is going to be challenging and.... oh so much fun! http://www.blackmountainmarathon.com ...I am glad I did it. It has helped me seek out other races to help train. The first "training" race was this past Saturday morning. The nice folks over at www.topoadventuresports.org/topotrail.html offer some great mid-distance races over the winter months. My next is coming up on 2/9 over at Ceaser's Creek, which is my go-to trail of choice.
What's after that..? Well I am in the mind frame of "let's keep the ball rolling". I am interested to see how far I can go. I never regret going for a run. So building off the momentum of the marathon, I am looking into my first 50k. Luckily for me, there are a few great options for a spring 50k here in Ohio. Why? Well, why not? Running has never been anything besides beneficial in my life. Very few things you can say that about. So I am going to continue. This is one of "my things" and we all have our own. It is why I run.
|Why I Run.|