ORN: 11.2 miles, with 4x1 mile intervals at 8:23 average
We got a break from the serious cold blast we had earlier in the week today which let me get out the door a little after noon in shorts in the sunshine and balmy 37 degree weather. I love wearing shorts for winter runs. I consider it my contribution to good mental health for the community at large. People who drive by and see me can say "Well, shoot, I thought I was losing my marbles, but will you look at that guy? Shorts in December?? Now that's crazy!" And they feel a little better about themselves. I'm happy to serve in this small way.
The schedule for the as-yet-unnamed spring marathon called for 11 miles with 4x1 mile intervals today. The run was nice ... nothing remarkable.
Which made me think how remarkable that truly is.
It was a little over 5 years ago now, in the fall of 2004, I was just getting back into running. Around this time of year, I went out one Saturday afternoon and, to my utter surprise and delight, ran 8 miles. Eight miles. EIGHT MILES!! I was astounded, almost dumbstruck when I got home. EIGHT MILES!! I hadn't run that far in over 20 years and wondered if I ever would again. And, for the first time, I did it. It was a true milestone for me in the running sphere.
I hope I never forget that run. And today I didn't.
It struck me what an amazing gift it is that running is just a normal part of life now. Today, for example, had the normal Saturday-types of things on the schedule. Balance the checkbook. Check. Email a friend who had some career concerns. Check. Run 11 miles. Check. Pick up an extension cord at the hardware store. Check.
During the final couple of miles for today's run, over the same path on which I did the watershed 8 miler 5 years ago, I just chuckled and was thankful. It is a true gift to have the health, time, ability and interest to run for a couple hours as a matter of course. I never want to take it for granted.
Persevere. On the remarkable days and the ordinary days.