To know me is to know that what I lack in perfect running form and speed I make up for in unadulterated joy and enthusiasm about running. To know me is to hear me tell my marathon story again and again and again. To know me is to wake up during the Olympics to find that I have been live-tweeting the marathon (both men’s and women’s) since 4AM Central Time. To know me is to deal with a 20 minute monologue on “How Much I Love These Compression Calf Sleeves OMG.”
To celebrate the Month of Love (or the Month of Loathe if you just totally hate cards and chocolates and love and mushy stuff), #runchat asked us to spread the love of running with our list of things that make us swoon about running as if it was Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves (No? Just me? Oh… okay.).
- Saturday morning sunrise runs. I love getting up early, experiencing the solitude and calm of the sunrise, and knowing I am out running while everyone else is still wiping sleep from their eyes.
- A time to clear my mind. Running give me a chance to think with no other distractions. I can make decisions, problem-solve, plan, and entertain without the beep of a phone or numbing myself with the television or computer.
- A different way to experience my own city and new places. There is a certain intimacy I have developed with my favorite running haunts. When I first began running, I logged dozens of miles on the Mississippi River Road just south of the University of Minnesota. When I lived in Uptown, I ran 2-a-days around Lake of the Isles preparing for my first Ragnar. In Saint Paul, I learned to love and loathe the long slope of Summit Avenue between St. Thomas University and the Saint Paul Cathedral and when I ran that same stretch of road at the end of the Twin Cities Marathon, I felt like I was running home. Now, I turn right out of my new home and am at the sweet oasis of Lake Nokomis- with the Minneapolis skyline peeking over treetops as I round the beautiful lake. You don’t get this in the car. You don’t memorize every bend in the trail and the minuscule hills that feel like mountains after 5 or 6 miles. Also, I love that there are parts of the world I have only seen by foot. This rang most true when I ran the Ragnar Great River Relay. We were bopping in and out small Wisconsin towns that I have only been to in the name of running. That’s just awesome.
- It can be challenging or it can be easy. Sometimes, I run to kick my own butt so I go out hard and long during the hottest part of the day. Other times, I run to heal myself or recenter so I take 2 or 3 miles in a beautiful place and just go.
- This community is intensely awesome.The running community is a special group of people. As I wrote in my post about why everyone should run the Twin Cities Marathon: “Runners are some of the best people ever because whether they’re a novice 12-minute-miler or a Boston Qualifier, they know the bad days: the blisters, the dehydration, the hamstring that won’t loosen up, the morning that you would rather eat a cinnamon roll than a 3 mile tempo. But they also know the good days: the long run that felt effortless, the PR, the beautiful sunrise/sunset runs, the unbelievable feeling of strong legs under you.“
- The Intangible and Indescribable. My intention was for this list to get to 10 things, but I sat for several minutes watching the cursor tapping steadily after an empty 6. There are so many things to love about running, but they are so hard to describe and they don’t always make sense to others. Sometimes they don’t make sense to me. Things like the sadness when a great pair of shoes hits its mileage limit and I keep running on them with sore feet and shins because I am sad to say goodbye to the miles I have had with them (seriously, someone tell me they get attached to their shoes too?!). The excitement of pinning a papery race bib to my shirt early in the morning. The release at the end of a long run. It’s just good. Really really good.
If you want to share your love of running, check out therunchat. If you blog/tweet/pin about why you love running, you could win some sweet stuff. And even if you don’t win, sharing the love is fun!