Nearly two weeks ago, I ran a marathon. Not just any marathon, but the St George Marathon; one of the fastest fall marathons at elevation with great down (and up) hills to bring you to the finish faster. I ran a race for which I was only mildly prepared. I knew I could run the whole way. I had no doubt I would finish, that was a given. Throughout the months prior, I stuck to my training like the glue that keeps the sole on my shoe. Each run I checked off on my training log was essential to my success in the race, and without the commitment to run, I knew everything could fall apart.
At first, I was only running to get it done. To make sure I could keep up with my Grandpa, actually. Part of me wanted to run because I've really come to enjoy the activity, and the other part just wanted to avoid failure. So I ran, right on schedule for the allotted amount of miles each day. Over time, that schedule became routine, and despite my initial intent to simply achieve the goal of completing the training, I started to enjoy the routine.
For the first time in my life, I was running out of habit and really looking forward to each morning when I strapped on my shoes and got out to run. Before daybreak. In the pouring rain. Watching the sunrise!
I adore my early morning running meditation. Just me and quiet, pre-dawn world. (and my iPhone for those photo-worthy moments)
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of running with the Saturday's Run group again. It was nice to be back in Portland, running nearly at sea level, seeing my friends, and touring my city and her river. The weather was typical of Portland: a grey, fall morning, but at this time in the season, the foliage is a sight to behold.
My friends planned to do 11 miles, and I only wanted to do eight (I mean, I did 26.2 the Saturday before so I didn't need to do 11, right?) so I ran and chatted with them for four miles then turned around to head home.
Whereupon, I promptly decided to take my favorite route along the river (a.k.a. the long way...).
Apparently, the long way home on a tour of Portland Bridges. I love running the waterfront, and ended my "eight mile run" with 10.2 miles. Go figure. I guess some things really stick. I love running longer distances now. Anything less than five miles seems ... like a warm-up. I ran four miles on Wednesday, and wanted to keep going. I had to stop myself so I would get to work on time!
Do you long-runners out there feel the same way? What is the shortest distance you run?
Heading into another weekend, I find myself looking forward to an early Saturday morning. We are going somewhere new this weekend! I'll report back with a full account of this new trail run, in Washington! (We are sometimes adventuresome!)
Have a wonderful Friday everyone, and as always, happy running!
with Joy, ~Alaina