Sunday I was reminded of why I love running. I’m less than one week away from my second half marathon this year and a race I did last year. So per plan, I did an 8.5 mile run with my coach. This is also the start of Week 5 of my CIM marathon training.
We decided to do a run I would never do alone (because it is rather isolated, and there is no shoulder on this twisty road—cyclists love it).
We started at Blackie’s Pasture, ran to Downtown Tiburon (where the Tiburon Mile Swim had just taken place and the smell of sausages being BBQ’d filled our nostrils as we chugged past the post-race tents) and continued on to do a loop around Paradise Drive, to Trestle Glen, then back down to Blackie’s. Even though I have driven on this two lane road long ago, (there really isn’t a reason to drive it, unless you live out there or want a scenic drive), I couldn’t remember if it was flat or hilly. My coach said it was up and down (he has cycled it many times). I said, “like last week?” thinking of the rolling hills in Napa. He said. “yeah, more so.” “Ugh” I said… “I hate hills. Don’t get mad at me later if I say I hate you again.”
I must be getting better at them–hills, because I didn’t think it was that hilly or up and down overall. Maybe that’s because on the very first incline I sarcastically muttered the words out loud, “I LOVE hills!!” Maybe I was talking myself into that thought. I think I’ve turned a corner. Not just on that winding road. But in my running. Finally. After 7 months of dealing with that calf injury.
Fact is, I didn’t have one complaint at all during this run. Not one! Not even in my head. Nothing. I had a great run. I felt great the whole time. I could’ve run longer, really. That made me happy.
And that is why I was reminded of why I love running. Feeling happy, carefree. I also realized I like the slap, slap, slap repetition on the pavement. Even though it feels like I am beating up my body as I pound along, almost like I’m in a boxing match with myself, it just really does something for me. It gets all the gunk out of me. I know with my son (who has Asperger’s) a repetitious behavior, like running back and forth (which he has done for years) helps empty his brain/body. I feel no different when I run. I can just let go of everything-like all the crap I stressed about from the days before. And I love that! I felt like a new woman after this run!
Towards the end of the run we had just a small incline before it was all downhill. My goal in my head was to get all the way back to the parking lot. I don’t think my coach thought I had that in me given all my whining the last few weeks. So at the top of the incline I said “Yay!”. He said all coach-like, “We are not done.” I said smiling, “I know! Just glad that last hill was done!” He felt my excitement and then said, “One day we are gonna run to the top of Tam!” I said, “maybe” but in my head I thought, ‘I know we will.’ He also made a comment that he’d like to get me on the bike. A year ago I would have scoffed at that remark. And Andrew, if you are reading this… skip now to the next paragraph. Ok. I can honestly say, I have no doubt at some point I will be on the bike. Not because I’m going to convert to cyclist, but because it is something else I can do with my coach, and that is all the incentive I need… well, that… and a bike. I know I will still run. That’s MY thing. But it’s good to mix it up once in a while and I’ve already been prepping myself this past year cross training on my stationary bike.
Later that day, we sailed on the San Francisco Bay past the tip of Tiburon, where we ran the loop earlier. I snapped this photo of the area. During the sail, my coach told me he was proud of me and said that my running was really coming along. That made me happy. It’s not often I hear anyone say those words to me. I’m proud of you. I like it.
I kept a steady pace of around 9:37, and that also made me happy.
This video makes me happy too, so I added the song by Train to my Race Day playlist. I love the Mariachi band. The meaning has no bearing on my life, I might add. I just think it’s funny. The Hoff!
One last word: This just came in from Runner’s World’s Daily Kick in the Butt email:
Running has the power to change your life. It will make you fitter, healthier, even happier. ~ Selena Yeager
It sure does make me happier.