Saturday, May 12, 2007

Burke Gilman 26.25 miles

Current Mile total: 626.75 miles

What a day. Yesterday is what living is about. I was suppose to run 24 and when I started I honestly didn't know if I'd make 10. But as they usually do, things works themselves out. And I thought to myself at mile 15, "I feel better now than I did in the first 8 miles". Lately with all the long runs I've been doing its almost as if my legs go into auto pilot so when I got to mile 18 I started flirting with the notion of doing a full marathons distance. I kept telling myself it was a silly idea and that although I felt good at the moment, the 20s would arrive and I'd feel differently. But I never did. So when it came time to turn off the burke gilman I said, what's another mile and a half? And I swear, I was laughing inside at how good it felt to push on. And I made a realization about what I've been missing for so long. A new long distance. Andy from the Redmond Footzone running club and I were talking last night about how back when you first started running, each time you'd go out it would be your longest run. I have not had a longest run in over six years. So my goals have been speed. But speed changes running, takes away enjoyment and turns running into something entirely different. It becomes about the goal itself. A selfish, narcissistic goal based on this idea that you're a better runner if you can somehow manage to cross the finish line faster than you did before at the risk of injury. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy running fast just as much as the next person, and I have that inner "pre" that compels me to chase down the rabbits ahead of me. I have speed goals that will never go away, not at least until I qualify for Boston. But my paradigm has shifted. And I've recognized that running, as in everything, is not about the finish line. How is it that I could be a runner this long, and not recognize the overwhelmingly obvious analogy that is the marathon to life? So focused are we with the finish line, when there are 26 miles out there to enjoy. The old adage, its the journey, not the destination, is so evident in the world of running. Yet we all are out there pushing ourselves beyond our thresholds to chase down these crazy PRs. Oh, I'll still be attempting to qualify for Boston, one good running day can't shake that goal, but I think as a runner, I've reached an enlightenment. I know, strong words to declare one's own enlightenment, but I haven't been this excited about running in a long time. And I owe it to the 50k. I've got the running bug again and it feels great.

OK, well, that's just too heavy. So what was so great about yesterday? So I woke up thinking the run might be a bad idea because my joints felt a big achey. I went into the run knowing I might have to turn it around at anytime. But I only felt better and better as the miles went on. I headed over to the burke gilman and chose to run north. I ran all the way until the trail turns into the Sammamish River trail and actually turned around when I reach 405. Along the way I passed historic Bothell where I was all too happy to find a bathroom. HALLELUJAH!! It as a gorgeous day out there and the trail was packed with people. I ended up adding the couple extra miles to make my first non race marathon distance, I milestone I've always flirted with. After the run I got cleaned up and went on a date with a new girl(seems really cool) and played golf for nine holes at greenlake. Then I had just enough time after that to take an hour cat nap before I headed out to a party at Jill's house(runner in both clubs). SO yeah, marathon, good first date, party with friends, that's a complete day and it doesn't get too much better.

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