Running is a large part of my life. This began six years ago. During the intervening time, its importance has grown. When asked the inevitable by people, I steal a friend’s joke and say that I do it because I want to continue to be able to eat whatever I want. There is partial truth in this. Mostly, however, I run because it makes me happy. While not necessarily happy in the moment or when it hurts, the benefits to body, mind, and sense of self are well known. There is a lot to be said for short-term lows exchanged for long-term and general highs.
In the past, I have blogged about how running teaches lessons about being an individual who is at once part of a group. Also, there is an entry on where running crosses with another passion, literature. Lastly, there is one from last year which focused on what I was thinking before running my first marathon.
Today, on a rainy, windy, and very muddy course, I finished the last race that I’ll run this year. My legs are sore and my shoes squish, but seeing my son playing with the finisher’s medal is amazing. It has been a year with both running defeats and achievements, but taken collectively, it was a success.
A friend and I are already talking about goals for next year and it looks like we might try to push each other to newly reach beyond 26 miles. Mostly I run alone, but this is more due to busy lives than wanting to be solitary. Hopefully, the new year will bring more community and stronger miles.
In the short term, winter looms and it’s important to overcome the dark and the cold. One foot has to be put before the other. Here’s hoping you’ve found a place where temporary pain is the price for lasting headspace.