Lately I've been reading the book "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" by Christopher McDougall, and there's lots and lots in it I could talk about, but what stayed with me this week on these tough runs is when he talks about the joy of running, how children and certain athletes and the Tarahumara Indians that he's writing about all have this profound joy in their running, a lightness in spirit, and how that ends up being a lightness in their physical running as well. And how his own running is transformed in trying to emulate that lightness.
This speaks to me because I feel that I frequently have that joy in my running - so often when I pass people on the street I see grim, intense faces (and I'm sure the same is true for me too sometimes) but so often I know I'm smiling instead.
And sometimes when the running is hard I can call on that lightness, think about being light on my feet, imagine myself breathing in light, see all my muscles and tendons and ligaments and bones being held together loosely, connecting lightly, instead of being tense or locked together --- and it helps.
I called on this for the first run with Buster in particular, both at the beginning when I wasn't yet warmed up and when it seemed impossible to do this kind of run with a stroller (remind me again why I chose to run 6 miles with a baby in tow*) - and then again at the end after I ended up running an extra mile and a half... a little bit too fast... in the sun... and was hurting, oh, just a little bit.
And that lightness carried me through.
*Why am I doing this? Because I love it, and I want to run much more, much farther, and I want to love it all the way. And if some days that means taking the baby along, well, endurance is endurance, yes? Seems like good practice for the kinds of crazy-ass races I want to run someday.