Sunday, June 25, 2006

Now THAT'S The Way It Should Be

15 mile long run today.

no pain.
no tiredness.
no boredom.
no crying about being slow

A whole lot of laughing.
A dude playing, "If you're happy and you know it ..." under Lake Shore Drive at Navy Pier.
A couple getting married on a boat near Buckingham Fountain, we made it time for the, "I pronounce you..." while everyone on the boat (and land) cheered.
A new recovery item...Orange Burst Gu with caffeine....tasty.

All of the above + average 9:05 min/mile (last 4 miles under 9....last mile under 8!)= best run of the season.

It's runs like this that keep me going day after day.

It's why I keep lacing up the sneakers even after bad runs and after worse runs. It's why I run by all the Cubs fans sitting at Bernies drinking beers or the kids at the Kit Kat Club on Halsted drinking martinis of all colors instead of joining them.

For me there is no better feeling than having a run like that. We all have bad days, we all have days where even the thought of putting on running clothes and going outside to run sounds too horrible, let alone actually doing those things. It's what you do with the bad days. Do you get out of bed anyways?

Jason says running is like being a pitcher. He says a pitcher on average will have his best stuff 25% of the time. It's what you do with the other 75% that matters. I don't love running all the time. If you have read this blog in the past week you probably have gotten a less than, "LET'S GO RUNNERS, LET'S GO!!!" cheerleading feeling from it. And then today came, and one foot went in front of the other easier than it had in a week and I'm back on track.

I run because I get better at it. I keep following the workouts and advice of the pros and the miles melt away faster and easier and the seconds per mile drop bit by bit. I like that parts of it can be very analytical. Do this and you'll get faster, try this and it might help....and it does....go figure. Maybe that's a big part of it for me, why I can be ok with going out there everyday when sometimes there are things I would rather be doing. Because if I can keep the other things in check I can hopefully catch that Boston time ... or at least get under 4 hours this year.

By the way I will have to take 40 (!) minutes off my time from last year to qualify for Boston. That's a lot and I realize that....but I also realize that last year my idea of a recovery drink was frozen margaritas and I didn't do speed work or pace runs or tempo runs or strides or anything like that. I'm ok with that...for last year. But I want more this year. I am so hungry for more. AND I LOVE IT!!!! I love having something out there that isn't quite attainable...but just a little more push and you're there. It's FUN for me to push the envelope of what my body can do and make it stronger and tougher and quicker.

I run because it's something that keeps me sane in my life. I can have a horrible day at work, all my code is wrong, I sat in horrible traffic for two hours, I couldn't find a parking spot...ahhhh but then. I can go outside, enjoy that sunshine and my City and it's just me, my legs and the pavement and I am away from all that other bullshit. And it's good.

I must say, I love all of you out there who read this blog. I LOVE writing about running and getting comments & suggestions & compliments & corrections from all the friends and family and RBFers that read this stuff. I love thinking about what to write when I am running and I have to be honest that this is a big reason why I think I'm getting better this year. It gives me focus when I am out there and my head keeps reeling...I have how many more &%$#@* miles to go? The supportive comments and other people following the same plan who offer suggestions about what I am doing wrong or right are without a doubt one of the more helpful things out there. So Thank You!

I think it's important to ask the Why Do I Run? question. Lots of times there is something better to do, something more fun to do, something easier to do. It's to each his own reason and sometimes we have to dig deep to find it. So with that,

Run Far. Run Fast. Run STRONG!


carmen said...

What a beautiful sounding run! Those are the kind that are worth running for. Very nice entry! :)

mg said...

Great run! Sub-8 after 14 miles is pretty awesome.

Running Rabbit said...

Nice run...interesting sights you saw!

I need to ponder on why I run...

Nicole said...

Great post. And I'll be honest I always feel that you and Jason have Let's go running blog entries and I love it because you both inspire me to bbecome a better running.
keep up the good runs and I loved the pitcher analogy

Theoutofshapeguy said...

Yeah on best run of the season. I'm such a dork.

Josh said...

Wow. I love Jason's comparison of running to pitching! And your reasons for running are so dead on. What a great post ... I can relate 110 percent!

Running Jayhawk said...

Way to go you guys! What an awesome run :)

Now you've got me all mental and wondering why I run...hmm...

~JDoubleU said...

I would love to have a run like that. Congrats! I can't really explain WHY I run but I know what it feels like not to run (injured, out of habit, etc) and there is always something missing (a sense of peace, maybe?) in my life without it.

Lana said...

Leah - That post was like a breath of fresh air. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reminding me of these things!!!!

You are SO right! About all of that. I can have several bad running days in a row - but when that good one comes, it makes it all worth it.

Awesome job on your run! And thanks for the reminder to keep pushing!

Michele said...

Wow! what a great post. Thanks!

Awesome job on the 15 miles. Great pace too.

yumke said...

Nice post, very inspiring.

Ryan said...

Awesome post. Glad to hear you had a great run. I agree with all of your comments. Sometimes we question ourselves after difficult run days, but the good ones keep us coming back. If we keep this up, we could be both on our way to Boston in April... but we've got a lot of hard work to do. Keep it up.

- Ryan

Ryan said...

PS - just saw the "tag" and will have to reply tomorrow - sleepy time...

Jason said...

To all the new commenters:

great to see the new faces and welcome. Now I have even more sites to read. Thanks for the comments.

To all the old commenters:


Haight said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joe said...

Wow I wish all my runs were like that. BTW, I got your "tag" but I haven't gotten around to doing my 4 things list yet.

Bob said...

Hey Leah, I had not had a chance to read this until now. Great post and as much as you love the support I love following your guys blog.

And BTW I know what you are talking about. I feel accountable to all the RBF in an odd sort of way. LT run, need to finish cause I need to post the splits. Well I don't need to but of courst I want to.

Nice thoughts.

jeanne said...

What a great post!!! You two are totally inspiring! So see? It works both ways!