I am thankful for the long run. Amen.
A year ago on "Thank goodness for running" day, I was thankful for all the small things and moments in running. It was the sum of the small things that made running so wonderful last November.
But this year, I must say that it is the long run in which I am infatuated. And so very thankful. I feel lucky to have found complete satisfaction with my long runs in the last few months. I don't find myself calculating and recalculating miles ran and miles remaining or trying to run landmark to landmark. Instead, I am in the happy place of long runs where I lose myself completely in these runs. I am not in a hurry to "just get it over with". I even surprise myself when I think, "only 4 miles left, drats!". It is pure cruise control. Mindless, mediatative running.
I find the time I spend on the trail with myself to be refreshing, relaxing, rejuvinating and peaceful. I usually take an issue or two with me to think through and try to solve, but I find that my mind has an agenda of its own and will in fact, push its own list of topics. After it is through the topics at hand, and somewhere between hour one and hour two, my head sifts through all the clutter that has built up on the shelf in my brain since my last long run. Step by step, it files the good stuff, tosses the junk, and organizes the important facts. And after all the mental "paperwork" and "inbox" is cleaned up, it feels like my mental maid has tidied up, taken out the garbage, knocked down the cobwebs in my head and freshened up the place.
The after effect of the run is a clear head, sharp thoughts, and an agreeable disposition. Some call it a runners high. I call it mental housekeeping. And only a long run can do it for me.
I have yet to finish a long run and not think the sky is more clear, the landscape more striking, music sounds better, and my family seem almost charming. Life may have seemed "manageable" before a run, but after a long run it seems "enjoyable" again.
That is why I am so thankful for long runs and my ability to do them.
We are looking forward to reading what you are thankful for as part of Take It and Run Thursday.