I am a road runner and though most of my non-running friends think every run for me is this euphoric experience of joy from start to finish, this is not the case. Most of them start out sluggish and with that little voice saying “is this really necessary”. Lucky for me, my body, my goals and my health, I have a louder voice in my head that says “hell ya!” , and sometimes a running buddy or two dragging me down the road for the first few miles. But that is the thing: it is only the first few miles that are tough on most days. After that I catch my rhythm and the joy of running breaks through.
There are days and especially on long runs where the run is full of ups and downs. I have started runs with very low energy and legs made of wood, only to feel like a winning racehorse just a few miles after that. But basking in that glow may be short lived as just a few miles later, a pain in my knee has me wondering if I can finish the miles I have planned. But pushing through a few miles more proves that it was just a test and the pain disappears to once again allow me to enjoy the pain-free bliss of pounding running shoes and even breaths.
Depending on the length of my run, this pattern of joyful running and pain or low energy continues. But it is the knowledge that these bouts of pain and blah do pass. As the terrain passes under my feet, time passes, my body changes and these constant changes bring about new feelings and challenges. Knowing that this constant change exists allows me to push forward wondering what the next mile will bring.
Then there are those runs where I head out on legs so fresh that I fly from start to finish. It usually occurs to me about halfway in that my body is just clicking like a well-oiled machine. I wrack my brain for reasons as I try to find a way to make this happen every day. I ask myself: “What did I eat?” “Did I sleep longer?” “How much did I drink yesterday?” “What am I wearing?” “Are these my new shoes?” Regardless of the answers, I continue to fly over the pavement and finish up the run wishing there was a finishing shoot on my driveway. And yes sometimes I practice that perfect finish line picture as I come down the cul-de-sac! Now these are the runs that really keep you lacing up your shoes!