Thursday, March 17, 2011

Riding on a (runner's) high

This morning I ran the fastest four miles in years.  On the physical side, last year was about getting through a marathon and searching for meaning.  I'm still searching for meaning, but I'm also now searching for a particular level of physical performance.  So, running my fastest four miles in four years is a big deal.  I ran it in under 28:00 (in other words in an average of less than 7 minutes per mile).  I was no where near pushing myself to this level last year.  Now that I am there, I'm feeling really good and do not think I am at risk of overuse injury as long as I take Fridays off after intense tempo workouts on Thursdays.

What does running 4 sub 7's get me in addition to a nice time to report?  Definitely a runner's high.  Since I tend to run it pretty constant (or with a little up incline every now and then or with a little kick up here and there to make sure that my four mile average is, indeed, below 7 minutes per mile), I am beginning to feel like a "well tuned machine".  That is a great thing to have.

When I reach that point and can just do the running, I also begin to tap into the spiritual side.  I begin to feel a sense of serenity and ease of running.  I begin to feel that life and running are a gift from God.  And I begin to explore what it all means.  There truly is someplace other than the normal reality that I go when I am hitting these miles one after another in ways that I know are right.  I use it as a time to ponder and a time to pray.  I hope to be able to continue to experience this for quite some time.

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