The Last 20 Mile Training Run

Sometimes when I'm running I compose blog posts in my head. I spent a couple of hours doing that yesterday. I was running for almost three hours as I completed the LAST (pause for trumpets blaring and crowd cheering) twenty-mile run of the training! Although my friend Michael and his daughter were running twenty as well, they were well over a mile ahead of me so I spent the three hours on my own.

Me being me, most of the material I'm mentally composing is sarcastic/funny. Jokes about the body falling apart, mental fatigue, the twenty bucks I offered the woman with the baby stroller to let me climb in with her toddler and push me up the hill, etc.

However, around mile 17, as I was jogging up yet another hill in Battleground Park, it occurred to me that even though I was aiming for funny, a lot of what I'd been thinking about that morning and what I'd been planning to write was, well... negative. So I asked myself, what's been good about this run? And the answers flowed in: 

  • It was perfect running weather. Sunny, 40's, and everything has started turning green
  • I got to pet a Great Dane
  • People were in great moods, smiling, nodding, and saying hello
  • As I jogged by a darling little girl and her dad he said, "Say hi to the runner," and she waved and whispered, "Hi."
  • I saw a poodle make a mad dash for freedom before her owner caught up to her and scooped her up, scolding her with kisses.
  • I felt like walking on several hills but pushed myself not to quit and I made it up and over without taking a break
  • I got to quickly see several friends out doing their runs as well
  • An orangish-red bird, very small, stayed with me for about a quarter mile, flitting from branch to branch just ahead of me
  • The sun on the lakes was beautiful

And finally, I ran yesterday's 20 miles at the same pace I ran the Chicago marathon and yesterday's run had a lot more hills than Chicago. I find this encouraging and hope it bodes well for my performance at Boston.

So sorry, no humor today. Just gratitude for a healthy body and a lifestyle that allows me to fit in running. I hope all of you reading found things to be grateful for in your weekend as well.