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I’ve decided I’ll be running forever. Or, at least until the day I’m forced into a hover-round scooter. Because unlike so many other passing interests I have had in my lifetime (who remembers the pez collection?) running can fit wherever I need it to in my life, and has never failed to do so.
There are times I want to push myself, to train my heart out and run with purpose. There will be the day I put my whole heart into that sub 20 minute 5k, or my Boston Qualifying marathon time. But then there are times, like now, where I want my running to have zero purpose what so ever. I just want it to be what it is. Running. Running is fun. Running is relaxing. Running is not going to be something else I add to my “things I HAVE to do” list, it’s something I add to my day to BREAK UP that ever increasing to-do list. Like a trip to the spa for a pedicure. Or a bowl of ice cream and a glass of wine paired with an awesomely trashy reality TV show (Jersey Shore anyone?). Of course I realize that it’s in my best interest to do something resembling another loooong run this week. But I’ve really been enjoying my running without a purpose.
Thursday, my cardiopulmonary class was canceled. I headed down towards the beach where I teach my Tues/Thurs fitness class. I had about 70 minutes to kill, so I parked at the pier. It was an overcast day, about 50 degrees. Cold, considering Thursday topped out at about 78 degrees and sunny. I ditched my pants (don’t worry I had shots on) my sock, and my shoes, and hopped out of the car. As I tip-toed across the parking lot to the beach access, I got the funniest looks from passers by. 50 degrees on a cloudy day down here might as well be 17 degrees…it’s chilly. One man actually said “what ARE you doing?” and gave me a laugh. I replied “barefoot running is good for you!”. I hit the sand, and I ran.
But yesterday’s two miles were different. I felt fulfilled at the end of the run. I very much enjoyed all 21 minutes of that short run. I felt strong and free, like I was gliding. Just as running SHOULD feel.