Yesterday afternoon, I ran home under a great big blue sky of spring Alaska sun. It was 50F and there was just enough breeze to remind you’re just a few degrees off the Arctic Circle. I will say, this was exactly the type of run I looked forward to around Dec 21st, as I pulled on layer over layer and prepared for yet another run into the inky darkness with only my headlamp for company.
I also spent the first mile yesterday hobbling like a geriatric. There just is never a smartphone video camera around when you need it; I would have loved to capture that first mile. Honestly, I had to smile despite the morbidity residing in my quads. It didn’t get a whole lot better, either. Any stop or sudden deceleration was plain old painful. On top of it all, the fuel tank was a little low. 6.5 in the morning + 10.0 home in the afternoon = need for lots of calories. About a mile from home, the magnificent Tordrillo Range spilling sunshine and cloud break off my right shoulder, I stopped, stretched my tight calves, and honestly considered calling Jen for a ride home. By the time I made it through the door, all I could think about was food. I sat down in the pantry, ate half a bag of crappy snack mix, two handfuls of almonds, some kind of Japanese energy squeezy-thing and followed it up with a recovery shake. Gross.
If this sounds heinous to you and makes you wonder why I do this day after day, you’re getting it. The fact is, anyone who only has good things to say about running either a) runs less than he/she claims or b) is attempting to sell you something. Like fish oil. Or the “only running app you’ll ever need.”
The truth of it all: like John L. Parker put it in Once a Runner, running is “all joy and woe.” There are days when everything clicks and output is which despite effort being low, and those are the rare treasures. Everything else is the true substance of running, and it might hurt, but boy it hurts so good. Yesterday was just another reminder of why I love to run. It sucked starting a ten miler understanding that it was going to be a long, slow sufferfest. But man, it was awesome to be out there enjoying the vernal sunlight and to know that the more I hurt today, the stronger I become tomorrow.
I’m interested in what you think – leave a comment with a story about your most heinous/awesome run.