...I might not treasure it as dearly."
--Michael Parker, Runner's World, January 2008
If you haven't yet, read the entire article in this month's edition. It was a bit of an epiphany for me, as I had only hours earlier talked to Ellie about how great--energized and focused, yet calm and relaxed--I was feeling after my run this afternoon. Parker points out several reasons that I can associate with regarding a long training run:
-You earn quite a few funny looks when you tell someone you're moving a little slow today because of yesterday's 17 miler.
-Only a runner can understand that physical discomfort isn't always directly related to mileage...sometimes the opposite is true.
-While I'm often thinking about pace and time and splits during my runs, life itself is actually slowing down, letting me pray, sort through schedules, plan the future (both tomorrow and 2 years from now), and simply find my "rhythm," for lack of a better term. I mean, I'm a white guy--rhythm is elusive to say the least. But when I give myself the hour or two to "be still and listen" I'm able to find purpose.
This weekend Wisconsin received about 8 inches of heavy snow. It's really pretty out there, and I had to take advantage of it. I picked up Bonnie and headed for the Ice Age Trail to get away. Considering the conditions, I hoped to cover about 6 miles in an hour. I finished about 5.5 on an out-and-back portion, but it was one of the most satisfying runs I've had in months. Just me an Bonnie (literally...not another track on the trail) trudged our way up and down the hills, into and then with the wind, with only our breathing to listen to. The snow prevented me from rolling my ankles and also raised the HR and lowered the pace. I took a picture of Bonnie leading me down the trail with my phone, but can't seem to figure out how to email it to myself so I can share it...hopefully soon.
When we made it back out of the woods, my feet were soaked, my legs were sore, and Bonnie was exhausted (she fell asleep on the 5 minute car ride home!). What a perfect way to start the week...