Saturday, December 12, 2009

Remarkable unremarkableness

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. 


Running Chick said...

I love those moments of reflection when we realize just how far we've come, especially during those times when we've lost sight of our journey. Nice post Joe, thanks! =)

Bob A said...

Great post -- enjoyed reading it and reflecting on similar experiences. The first paragraph was over the top funny. I got ragged, even by my running group, for wearing shorts until it dropped below freezing. I hadn't thought about the fact that I was helping people think that at least they weren't as crazy as I am.

Sarah said...

Good reminder Joe! I still remember how hard my first 13.1 was. I absolutely could not envision doing it all again to complete the marathon distance!

Backofpack said...

You said it perfectly! I never want to take it for granted either.

As for my shoes - I checked. Bought them Aug.21, had 606 miles on them. My superfeet were 14 months old. Both too old to be running a marathon in them! I had it in my head that I'd picked up the shoes just before Portland, guess I was wrong.

Darrell said...

Those days way back before running I seemed like I was always busy and there was no time for something like a 3 hour training run. Now, running has become such a priority that to the extent possible the rest of my life is scheduled around it or at least taking it into consideration.

I may be too busy to wash the car, mow the lawn or pay the bill, but somehow I'm never too busy to get a run in.

Wes said...

Eight miles is an easy day for you now. Who'd a thunk it!! :-)

IronWaddler said...

Well said, Joe. It's important never to forget those moments. Also unremarkable is a special place all its own.