It’s Marathon Monday! Running for Fun.

You know what makes running seem fun? The Boston Marathon! I’m not a marathoner, but watching the circus surrounding Boston almost makes me want to be. I ran along the Charles back in the day. I strolled on Boyelston street. I sat in a friend’s apartment and drank mimosas as the runners pounded it out below our window. And I have a teensy part of me that clings to Boston as a little magical. When Marathon Monday comes around, it’s hard not to get swept up. There’s so much lore, so much passion. It’s a race that people with with their hearts as much as their feet. And a year like 2018 really sends it home— a big win for Des Linden, who had had an always-a-bridesmaid career, and then there was Sarah Sellers, an advanced-practice nurse from Tucson, just like me. It was a fairytale race, with runners gutting it out in the freezing rain, and earning it. The kind of day that makes you go “YES!!”.

What’s your relationship with running like these days? Mine has been really chill this past year—  I haven’t been training for something, I haven’t been chasing a goal, or running fast (not that I was ever fast). The last race I ran was a 10k in January of 2018 (!?). But I’ve been out there. These past few months, I’ve been running through the neighborhoods of my new city (mostly in northeast Portland), enjoying urban trails (Forest park), hitting up the public track near my work (Duniway), and trying new strength classes at the gym. And bike commuting!  It’s felt fun, and authentic, and I’ve just done what I felt like. Two miles with the dog? Fun! Seven miles around the city? Sweet. Trails, without my watch? Love it. Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned fun running. My body feels good: I usually stop because I’d like to get something else done that day, not because I’m gassed. And nothing hurts! Sprinkled in, I listened to some running-related audiobooks— Deena Kastor’s memoir, Peter Sagal’s memoir, and Alex Hutchinson’s book about the science of endurance. They’re all fun, and make running seem fun.

A few solid goals to keep the miles meaningful

As we slide into spring in the PNW, days are longer and the sun peeks out here and there. It’s giving me itchy feet. So I got myself a few solid goals to keep the miles feeling meaningful: a May road race (I wanted to do a half— but I’m not quite ready, and I don’t think it’s wise to rush things. . .so it’ll be a “quarter” which is really more of a fancy 10-k, no?). Then, I got myself a crew for the Hood to Coast relay in August, which should be a complete blast— and a great reason to do a lot of miles without worrying too much about speed. I’m going for things that feel like fun! I like to have a little structure in my running— not a rigid training schedule, but just a reason to get out on the days when I need one (because let’s be honest, we all have those!).  Here’s to running!

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