I had a good run this morning, 14.5 miles at a smooth clip. The temps were moderate and the skies clear. I purposely set the Garmin to show heart rate and distance only. I wasn't at all interested in pace. I adjusted my speed to keep the heart at a consistent 150 - 155 range and it felt good and natural. During the walks the heart dropped to about 125 - 135 bpm and that felt good too! Lost in my thoughts and grooving to the tunes. Yup indeed, it was a good day to be alive.
In my mind I composed two letters, one to a former student who fell by some bad times but is recently starting to find his place in this old world. He's a good lad and has a promising future. He's at a stage where he just needs a couple of life lines to keep him afloat, but he'll be ok. The second, and far more challenging, was to a close family member who also has fallen on bad times. This person has made some choices that have profoundly impacted my life. As children we were best of friends and now we've grown apart. I finished the letter to my student and sent it off; that was the easy one. The other one, the more challenging one, will take more thought. So, where’s this going?
I’ve read many running blogs and I’ve talked to many runners. The conversation invariably turns to why we run. Aside from the obvious, to get healthy, why do we run? I suppose there’s several trillions reasons out there and they’re all respectable and intelligent. Today I didn’t set our to compose the letters, I didn’t even think of these two people until I was well into the run. Their faces simply popped into my mind… zap, there they were, front and centre. I believe this happens because when we run we clear our minds of all the clutter, all the chatter, all the garbage. We become focused on out heart, our lungs, our legs, and our minds. The daily happenings, the shopping lists, the kids, work, deadlines blur. Our minds clear and what's important rolls by like a video in slow motion (now, if I only had a rewind).
Over there on the right hand sidebar I’ve added a “Top 10 List of Why I Run”. Not one to rush, I will add one additional reason every week for 10 weeks. I need to do some serious thinking about this and serious thinking takes some time.
Why do you run?