Today is my last day of summer vacation. I've thoroughly enjoyed 8 weeks off from work, enjoying summer. I've spent most of this vacation in my running clothes or my swimsuit. I love the slow pace of the summer; no schedule other than the boys sports, my running schedule and dinner at 5. That's about it. It's been fabulous.
This morning I brought Tyler to football practice at 8 and then I and Topaz headed out to the trail for our final summer vacation run. The sun was shining, the grass was still wet from the night before, it was a lovely 58F with a light breeze and no humidity. Minnesota Perfect.
All during the run I kept thinking about how grateful I am to have 8 weeks off, to be able to run every day, to have my health and a healthy family.
I came up with the realization that maybe I enter these 100 mile races so that I have a reason to run long. You know, if I wasn't training for Superior 100 I would have to explain my 100+ mile week last week. I would have to explain a 30, 40 or 50 mile training run. What are you training for? At least with a race looming ahead I have an answer that some people may understand. Or not.
Many don't understand why I run what they call 'junk miles'. Why spend all those days running with Topaz on the trail? Haven't you heard of junk miles ? You are wasting your energy. Make each workout count. Tempo, track, hills, long, train train train, make every workout count.
I run the 'junk miles' because that is what I enjoy. I don't run for a means to an end. I don't run only because of the next race. I'm not running only to train. I wouldn't give up my 'junk miles' for anything. They are as important to me as any other training run I do. These are the runs that keep my sanity. These are the runs that make me feel alive, that give me a sense of myself, that make me... me and that I enjoy fully.
Many people don't understand that I run because it makes me joyful. It gives me peace. The act of running itself calms me.
I run to spend time with Topaz, my quiet running partner, who is always there, always runs my pace, is always ready and never late for a run.
We have a wonderful time.