20 April 2012

Run for Your Life

I've been running for quite some time now with my purpose fast-approaching (agh, bad joke)-- the goal is a distance race I never thought I would be able to physically finish.

In prep for the race, which The Sailor is also running, he invested in a badly-needed pair of kicks a couple of weeks ago. So...well, I had to get a new pair too. The magic of Zappos VIP next-day delivery service dropped these babies at my door in a jiffy. Last time I bought sneakers, they came from Fleet Feet with far too much pomp and circumstance. That was when I traded in the tried and true Saucony Grids that I've worn for-ever for the higher-end model. But, despite the allure of having custom fitted sneakers from Fleet Feet or fast looking kicks from Zappos, I think that the old Grids still remain my favorite.

During my runs lately, I've been super-focused on the number of miles and my time. The iphone app, RunKeeper, uses GPS to determine distance, speed, etc., and the automated voice,"Suzie," as I affectionately call her, interrupts Eminem, JLo, Kanye or Shakira-Shakira, to let me know how far and how fast (or slow) I've run. It's running to accomplish a goal.

I've had an especially tough couple of days this week. One day, I simply let myself skip my run. Yesterday, I went out reluctantly. I knew it would get the endorphins flowing, and I know that I always feel better when I run than when I don't run.

I took off running yesterday with no watch, no music, no iphone, no "Suzie," no fancy new sneakers. My intention was to just be...kind of like in yoga class. I heard my breath and my feet pounding the pavement, birds chirping, dogs barking. I smelled freshly cut grass and flowers. I focused on my body, the aches and the adjustments I made to ease any pains. I was aware of everything, but my mind was still.

I never thought I would find running to be peaceful. But maybe I finally experienced the "runner's high" that avid runners get. Whatever it was, I needed it yesterday, and I'm praying I find that zone again in time for the race.

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