Wednesday, November 13, 2013
It's Just Running... But It Isn't
My weekly miles aren’t the highest I’ve averaged, but they’re starting to near the 3 digit mark.
I’m also doing the most speed work (intervals and tempo runs) I have ever done since I started running, by far, really far.
And you know what; I would happily do more if I didn’t have to worry about money.
Why am I running so much and doing lots of speed work? It would appear I’m training for some big race, but I’m not. (Although Sage and I will be running my sister Rachel’s 10k and that’s huge to me, but for sisterly reasons.) Besides my sister’s 10k, I have nothing in the foreseeable future. At first it was my choice, but now I honestly have no money in my budget to travel and enter races. But that’s okay I suppose.
I am just completely in love with running just for the sake of running. Even if I’m pushing hard on the pavement for a speed day, I’m absolutely loving it. I’d rather be making my heart pound inside my chest than be sitting indoors any day. Then, there are the days up to the summits of Green and Bear that I just can’t seem to get enough of. On weekday mornings I often have the trails to myself on the way up except for some squirrels sprinting across, beautiful blue birds flying ahead of me, and sometimes even the splendid but odd looking wild turkeys! Judging by the looks of the canyon that the trail is in, I’m guessing there are some mountain lions too, but I feel much safer in Boulder than when I lived in some small mountain towns where animal bones and carcasses were daily sightings. As I start up I’m always in awe of the huge rock slabs to my right and then embrace the shadows and the light that alternate in warming and cooling my body. Yesterday, as I turned the corner to top of the canyon, where the trails split to go up Green or Bear, the sun hit everything around me in the most perfect way imaginable. The much bigger mountains showed their white tops in front of me, and birds flew towards them. In that moment, everything was perfect. Every part of me was filled with peace and joy. At that moment, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Though I might not feel quite that level of perfection every day, I normally come close and I always feel I am where I’m supposed to be when my legs come as close as they can to flying.
Sometimes when I’m not running, my head tells me it’s silly to spend so much time running. However, during these moments my heart suddenly screams “Running helps you follow me (my heart)!” and I know my heart is right, I sometimes just have trouble listening.
Running isn’t everything. There are obviously much more important things like friends, family and making the world a better place that my life should be (and are) focusing on. But, I believe running is more than just running because it helps me be a better person as my mind and my heart are both strengthened by my runs. Running is my anti-depressant (if even just for the hours I am running), it’s my way to experience the beauty of nature, it’s my path of learning to follow my heart, it’s my steroid for mental strength, it strengthens my connection to my highest levels of thinking, it’s a bond between me and similar souls, it’s all that and so much more. It almost seems crazy how the simple act of running can bring so much to me. Yet, my heart reminds me at this moment it is not. It is the gift that was given to me to help find all the beauty in myself and the world.
So while on the surface, my miles and hard work seem pointless, I know in my heart that the miles are striving to point me in the right direction.
Run Wild, Run Happy,