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.