Running is Community, Part 2
“Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.” – Richard O’Brien
I’m really happy right now with my running. I’m feeling pretty lucky and pretty blessed. When I think about running it is a warm, happy, comfy feeling, like sitting on the couch in the early morning, watching the sun come up, holding a cup of coffee with the dog and cat next to me.
Thinking about the actual run I’m going to do today: Not So Much.
I’m tired. I’m physically tired every day right now, which I expected when I committed to this training plan. My legs feel tired and heavy when I get up. I shuffle off to the Shrine of Coffee, Cuisinart Automatic Grind and Brew Thermal™ in my awesome plaid bell bottom fleece pants, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt. Hugging my mug of coffee I go to get the paper and think, well, it’s not horribly cold out.
However: I will not be doing my run in the windless lee of the house wearing my awesome warm plaid bell bottom fleece pants, I will be running in the open (damp, grey, breezy) 32 degree air in tights and a tech shirt. Today I feel like being Rocky Balboa and putting on heavy grey sweats which weigh about 10 pounds. Every run lately – while I happily and freely admit that we’re having a warmer and drier winter than usual – is cold. The last time I ran in the sun was a week ago and before that I don’t know (and don’t want to, it will just depress me). Grey skies, windy, damp air; I never feel warmed up. I feel hunched and pulled in and my fingers go white and numb even in gloves.
Yesterday it was beautifully sunny when I left the house to work with my trainer, aka The Boss. 90 minutes later when it was time to head for the run? Grey. SURPRISE. Windy. SURPRISE. Cold. SURPRISE. And there I was in shorts, singlet and L/S tech shirt. Did I not just do the same thing on Sunday? Will I never learn?
And do I have a windbreaker and gloves in the car? No. They are clean and folded…in the laundry room. At. Home.
But I’m holding an ace: one of my BRFF’s is waiting in the parking lot for me. Beckybee and I head into the wind. Every time we changed direction on our course the wind came along with us. After the first mile we got the kinks and the sighs and the groans shook out and when the 6 dogs rushed into the street at us and we found ourselves maxed on adrenaline we had each other to laugh shakily at, and when I forgot to turn my Garmin back on Beckybee still had hers running and we talked and ran and forgot the wind and in a couple minutes we’d covered four miles.
I’m holding the same ace today. I have 7 to do and Beckybee is doing the last three with me, and that will get me out the door when the grey skies push down on my head and I want to go back to bed.
“It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.”
I do appreciate the miles of others, the miles that push me out the door so I won’t leave a fellow runner stranded in the parking lot, the miles that runners post on FB and on challenge pages, the miles taken to reach the finish line for charities, the miles I see run in every weather everywhere (weather a lot colder, wetter, snowier and icier than I’m dealing with). When I do run alone – and I like that too, I like the time for my brain to sort through everything and throw out the trash – I’m still held up by this community of runners. Thank you all.