I ran 17 miles this weekend. for no particular reason at all. I’m not stealth training for a marathon, I’m not anticipating running one any time soon… it was just nice out, I felt good, I wanted to and I can.
Late April/early May is beautiful in Northern California. It’s warm but not yet hot, the hills and grasses are still green and the wildflowers are everywhere. I always get in really good shape this time of year because I simply can’t compel myself to stay inside. I can’t do it. I don’t want to and you can’t make me.
This morning I woke up and decided to go on my regular run on our bike trail. I wasn’t in a hurry, had no particular agenda or mileage in mind– just wanted to zone out by myself to my ipod and enjoy the morning. I started out and was amazed how good I felt. I was ticking off 8:40 miles with no problem and could definitely have run faster had I felt like it. But I didn’t so I stuck to that pace and enjoyed feeling good.
I took a gu around mile 8 and was amazed how good I felt. I thought to myself, “self, let’s keep running and see what happens.” So I did. I tacked a few miles in the opposite direction of my car and ended up with a lovely 17 mile run. I barely looked at my garmin the entire time but was happy to see that my splits only varied by 5 secs/mile the entire run.
Although I’m not training for a marathon it’s nice to know that I can still run long if I feel like it and that my legs are capable of pacing themselves and running smart. Although I am loving racing shorter races, I don’t want to lose my ability to pace myself and run the long stuff in case I lose my mind and attempt another marathon at some point. Plus, I ate a few cookies yesterday at my friend’s wedding dress try-on extravaganza and it’s always nice to run those off!
It was one of those runs where no song annoys you, the water fountains appear at all the right times, there are good looking triathletes and runners as far as the eye can see and the river was lazy and blue. Running long without a defined purpose is awesome– there’s no pressure to hit certain splits or figure out hydration or outfits or meet a mileage goal. I was running to run.
Really though, today’s run was a reminder that I get to run. I was talking to a coworker who was hit by a car a few years ago and is physically unable to run. She loved it but physically can’t run anymore. My body is healthy, I’m young (well, sort of) I had the time and money for running shoes so why not take advantage of it? This morning’s run was a perfectly relaxing, grounding way to start my week.
58 miles this week. I’m going to go drink a glass of wine and eat a steak because I have clearly earned it 🙂