The joy of running again

I feel happy again in some deep, forgotten place in my bones.

Things are improving by the week. I’m running almost every day.  I’m entering short races. I’m running 20 miles a week. I’m tackling hills. I’m gradually stretching my distance runs.

And it’s getting easier — not a slow, pathetic slog around the block, but a joyful, 45-minute run around a neighborhood lake.

I think I am very, very close to being able to say I have rebuilt my base. For the first time in three years, I have a sense that I really might be able to run long distances again – for an hour or even two.

This is not endorphins talking. This is a part of my soul that died and is coming back to life.  I’m feeling whole again.

Do you know how good it feels to go to bed with a specific plan to run in the morning? And then to get up at 5:30 and do it?

Do you know how good it feels to run with an old friend for 45 minutes, for the first time in years?

Do you know how good it feels to look at a race website or a running blog and think “I can do that again — maybe not today, but in a couple more months, if I keep at it.”

This is the joy of running again.

I’m not fast and never will be. At my best, I was a midpacker, a 3:40 marathoner. I’m going to run slower by the year.

But I’m not drifting through another year without running goals and successes. I’m not avoiding my old running friends. I’m not shuffling through a pathetic two or three miles a couple times a week.

I’m running almost every day and feeling strong.

It’s not about running fast. It’s about running happy – and not letting that place of joy go dark again.

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One Response to “The joy of running again”

  1. Hi, I saw your post on ITR and clicked the link. Yes, you are so right! There is a spark and a light that grows stronger each time we run. At first it’s painful and slow and full of “do I really want to get up now?” days, but then there is a shift. I don’t plan my runs so much as visualize, but as I see myself out there, feeling the air and the movement, the breath pumping through my body, I get excited.
    ….so now, it’s time to run!
    BTW, those pictures in OH are lovely! A couple remind me of Hocking Hills, but that’s south of Columbus. Another wonderful place for a trail runner!

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