Running gives me a chance to think. I've often been tempted to get an iPod to feed my musical desires but for some reason I believe it would ruin each run. I need to feel the ground under my feet and rain on my head and wind pushing my face, and I need minimal distractions so I can pay attention to all these amazing sensations. I run to feel. Breathing has become my music.
Sadie and I went out for 20 miles on Saturday and it was exhausting. One of the most mentally tough runs I've been on. But, as always, when I got home knowing that I pushed myself past the point when I wanted to quit I was filled with great satisfaction.
I've had a lot on my mind lately and running has become, now more than ever, a respite from the world. No, that's not it. No, no no - it's not a respite at all. Running has become the purpose. I crave personal awareness. I need to feel attached. I need to be reminded that there is something more beautiful than my desk and computer and phone and tie and button-up shirt. When my laces are tied and I'm out the front door I listen to my feet against the trail and I feel the muscles of my body tensing with each step and I smell the snow and rain and grass and concrete and I hear Sadie running and birds calling and cars in the distance and I'm remembering what it is about life that I love so much.
Yes, running isn't a distraction from the stresses of life -- it's a reason for being alive and aware. The sensations I receive from the simply act of running is an acute reminder that I'm alive. And I like it.
And I'm going to keep running.