Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sometimes it just works, and the why of it escapes me.

Just FYI --I never fix the spelling of songs I download,
hence "The Supreams [sic]"
There are plenty of things I've learned about running in books and running forums and from Aunties and friends who run. There are lots of things that get passed on, so I know a lot more than I did when I put on my ill-fitting shoes and set out that first day. I've learned how to make running much less painful, how to make it something I can schedule into my week, how not to get blisters on my feet, how to stay hydrated.

The thing I can't figure out (and I don't know if I ever will) is how to replicate a great run. Sometimes, like tonight, it all just clicks. The breeze blows the right way, the shade from the trees falls across my shoulders like a welcome, cooling wave, the songs on the ipod all play in perfect sync with my breathing and stride, the beauty of nature unfolds before me and I am pain free. In fact, I'm having fun, in spite of the fact that I've just downed a huge dinner of bison tri tip (but that's subject for another post).

What comes with those great runs like tonight's is the awareness of the inverse. The light to its shade, the black and white to its Oz, the yin to its yang. (Err..) You get it. Accepting the great runs means accepting the ones that are the complete opposite, the admittedly torturous jaunts where I just hang on and pray for my whole thing to be over. Frankly most of my runs are decidedly mediocre and hardly worth mentioning, they're so dull. They're rooted in the "no man's land" of boredom and too much pace-checking. Most of my runs make me wonder why I do this. But every once in a while...

Tonight was a breeze. There was a breeze. I was breezing down the path. Every single song I love in my Motown playlist hit me at just the right time. There were cheerful families on the path and long-necked geese dotting the lawn. I took a break exactly halfway through my five miles to meet up with K and walk a one mile loop, and then I was back on the road. All of it, divine. Six plus miles passed in a heartbeat.

There's no math to that kind of run. No formula. I couldn't tell you its secret and help you do it yourself. But I believe in it. I can't say it's because it was broken up because there are days where one mile or two miles on the treadmill or around my neighborhood feel more awkward than a game of spin the bottle at an eighth grade garage party. Sometimes I can't run a half mile to save my life, and here I was blasting around town tonight, singing "Ain't too proud to beg" to nobody in particular, thinking it can't get any better than this, and Stevie Wonder hits me with "For Once in My Life." Gee-min-ee, I had a good time on that run.

What a beautiful night.

1 comment:

  1. I feel ya and know what you mean.. people have tried to do studies on this and haven't come up with anything. I have noticed that sometimes those great runs come on days where my body least WANTS to run.. like I'm already not feeling 100% but somehow I have a run that feels great.. don't get that either!