running for fun or purpose


Since completing the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October, I’ve been struggling to motivate myself to do structured workouts.  I was good about doing speed workouts and weights for several weeks, but fell off the wagon, and haven’t yet climbed back on.

I’d planned on trying to do one or two more marathons this year – possibly the Christmas Marathon in Olympia, or perhaps the Last Chance Marathon up near Bellingham.  The former didn’t happen, the latter probably won’t.  It’s been almost a month since my last significant long run, and I can’t decide whether I want to do the races anyway.

For the past week, I’ve been running regularly with my friend Ben.  We don’t break any speed records, but have a good time. 

Today we did a nice 7 1/4 mile run around Bridle Trails State Park.  It was cold – probably about 35, and partly cloudy.

We started out grousing about the cold, but by the time we’d been out for about ten minutes, we’d fallen into a conversation and weren’t even thinking about the running anymore.  When we made the decision to extend the run to the perimeter of the park, it was a no-brainer.  Where else would we want to be on such a perfect morning for running?

We finished strong.  The road from the park, back towards the gym takes us downhill a couple of hundred feet, and then gains it all back in about a quarter mile.  Tradition is that we accelerate for the second half of the hill.  The pace is determined by feel – the better we feel, the faster we go.  Then, we’ll try to speed things up over the last quarter mile to the gym.  Sometimes we’ll hit a sub-seven minute mile pace on that last stretch.  This morning was more modest – we might have hit 7:45 or so.

No matter though.  The thing is, we had a great time and managed to sneak in a bit of pushing too.

Eventually, this will accrue to some larger goal.  For now it’s enough to enjoy it.


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