Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Run for Joy

I have rarely wanted to or felt a need to run as much as I did today.  Monday, I left Baltimore, was driven to Dulles airport outside Washington DC, flew to Los Angeles, waited, and then flew to Sydney, Australia.  The last of those flights involved being on the plane for more than 15 hours.  I have to admit that being in business class for the flight made it a lot less disruptive to my comfort than flying in economy.  However, after all that time on any airplane, my legs were just ready to go.  The last time I flew for that long, I had just twisted an ankle—so my body was not looking to run so soon.  The time before that was shortly before I ran my first marathon and I had just run a half marathon.  So, my legs were in recovery mode rather than looking for more running.  The time before that, I had not yet even started my training for my first marathon. 

So, today, I just wanted to get out the door and run.  It was not the prettiest run—in terms of how I felt or the pace at which I was running.  I didn’t have my contacts cleaned properly so I had to run with my glasses on—just not fun, although I don’t worry so much about how I look running with glasses as I used to.  The temperature was nearly 80 degrees Farenheit.  When I left Baltimore it was in the 30’s.  My body was not as ready for the change as I had hoped and I am not in the habit of hydrating so much while I run at this time of year.  I think my body had still not entirely recovered from the blood donation last week.

However, I just felt good. I took my time.  I ran an average pace of just under 10 minutes per mile.  I ran along the path from Coogee Beach to Bondi.  That was pretty—unlike me.  However, some of the prettiness comes from the terrain and the terrain involves a lot of ups and downs.  The ups often involve steps rather than just hills and the steps take a different amount of effort. 

But, I truly enjoyed every minute of it.  I felt good when I got back.  I had the energy to correspond with my wife via FB chat and then shower and enjoy a lengthy and casual lunch with a colleague here to speak about her dissertation and just to catch up.  Then, I crashed. 

It was truly what running for joy should mean. 

Tomorrow and the next day—or the day after when I run an 11K race here—I can worry about times. 

As a friend says, “Run strong.  Run with joy.”

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