On my drive to Salem Lake today. Many thoughts bounced around my head. One that kept reoccurring was about how the “happy spot” in a run changes when it arrives. It has been 5 months since I’ve been around the lake and up until today hadn’t really thought about those happy moments while running.
If you’re a runner you understand that moment to be when the struggle of running and or fighting the run becomes relaxed and free. Hitting stride is another phrase used. My runs as of late haven’t really been long enough or they’ve been too intense due to speed work. Having run around the lake many a time, I was looking forward to the moment today.
Was not sure as to when it would show up and quickly dismissed the thought that it might not show up. Started my run and felt good through the 1st mile. My pace was a little slower than I thought I could’ve been runing, but didn’t push harder as to maintain my breathing. Didn’t need to bonk on the back side due to over exertion on the front. As many times as I’ve been around the lake, today was like I was going around it for the 1st time again. Long run rules did apply, save the energy for the finish.
To the finish I continued and could still feel my feet hitting heavy around the 3 mile marker. I didn’t bring a water bottle on this run and had planned a quick water stop at the halfway point. Feet hitting not as hard but still not lightly as I appraoched water. Made the turn and ran on by the fountain, chuckled as I turned back around knowing that I’d slipped unknowingly into the zone. Water washed down and onward I went.
Still focued on the feet hitting heavier than I’d liked but pleased that the comfort of the zone had returned. Charging hills no matter their size made me wonder if I’d run out by mile 6. Up and down the hills I went and found myself getting stronger. I do enjoy when my focus is directly in front of me, still not feeling the feet hit right, but enjoying the workout none the less.
Having accepted the workout for what it was, grinding and smiling forward, my feet got quiet and I hit stride. A large smile then took over my face. Just short of the 5 mile marker I’m grinning ear to ear. I can only imagine how I looked passing the other runners coming around in the opposite direction. With all of my health issues over the last year, I can not recall a run where I was as free as I was today. There’s a boost of energy that I’d forgotten about as well.
That boost in energy allowed me to look forward to the hill behind the office. My last run there I bailed at the gate, just couldn’t make my body go. Today I went, I went up that hill as hard as I could go. My time going up that hill has been faster in the past, but I’m not running back there any more. Its about today. My medal came when I was able to carry momentum over the top. I kept that momentum on through the down hill side as well. A good strong kick to complete my run
in front of a crowd of zero made my run the best.
You see, these runs are important for the many moments that occured all the way around. I was looking for 1 particular moment and left with many more. On your next run, go collect some moments and see what you come back with.