Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Running Free

I just finished the best run of my life.
Fastest time?  No.
Longest distance? Not even close.
Great time with friends? Nope.
Best view I've ever seen? I did stop to enjoy it, but I've seen better.

So what was so amazing about it then, you might be wondering.

I ran free.  Free from a fitbit, Garmin watch, heart rate monitor, iphone running apps, faster running partners, chatty friends, slower running partners, ipod, walkman (ha ha - remember those?!)  I didn't even look at the clock on the wall before I left.

It was just me and my dog, running free in the snow covered trails.

As runners, we can get a bit neurotic about all things running.  What is our pace per minute?  Am I in my target heart rate?  Why can that person always run faster than me on the uphills?  How can chatty Kathy be carrying on a conversation right now when I have blown a lung?  I need to train harder, I need to do more sprint intervals, I need to add another running day, I need to do a marathon, or a faster marathon.  I run so much, why don't I look like her yet?

If we run 7.58 km, we have to run around the block a couple of times until our device reads an even 8 km. If we are running the trails at a slower pace, we need to do a road run to prove that we can still come in at our "fast" time.  If someone wants to do a run that is less than 5 km, we think, "well what the heck is the point in lacing up my shoes?"

I purposely ran a trail that I know is less than 5 km today.  Yup, it was short, and no, I didn't go around the block to top it up.  I walked a couple of snowy slippery sections, and I think I even walked one that was clear, just because I felt like it.  I stopped to pet the dog.  I stopped to look at the ice and snow covered lake.  I called the dog twice, and other than that didn't say a word.  I listened to the snow falling off the trees. I listened to the silence. I ran mindlessly, thinking about nothing, running through the mud puddles and feeling the crunch and squelch of the snow beneath my feet.  I ran free.

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