The restart button worked. After a much-needed two-week rest from running, I am relishing my runs again.
A rest period did not mean I was doing nothing towards my fitness. I still enjoyed other activities like spin, weight training and even skiing. However, not running was bringing me down. I started to feel lazy. I hate feeling lazy. I had to constantly remind myself that proper rest is not the same as being lazy. It is all part of the training. Like when you need a great vacation after a long period of hard work, not just the break of the weekend.
On Saturday I looked forward to my first morning run with excitement. I didn’t have a plan for distance or course. I just went for a run. Spring air could be felt on the kiss of a cool breeze with the temperature at +46 degrees. I didn’t look at my watch. I didn’t try to go fast or pace to other runners. I just ran wherever my legs and heart felt like going.
I ran the hilly streets near my house and over to the park for a loop around the lake. I did a second loop without realizing. I forgot I was running. I saw a path for a hill and suddenly was halfway up the incline. I saw a road I hadn’t run in a while and pranced on over to run it without giving a second thought about the distance, gradation and terrain.
My mind was clear and relaxed. My legs had a spring again. I could hear the inspiring musings of the infamous painter Bob Ross from the PBS television show The Joy of Painting calmly reminding me that it’s my world. I can do whatever I want in it.
Moving in a peaceful flow my mind started to paraphrase Bob Ross’s popular quotes to running: “The road is your canvas. It’s your world, run wherever you want. In running you have unlimited power. See a happy little tree or a titanium white cloud floating by in the sky.”
Reflecting on The Joy of Painting lead me to think about the art of running. I was reminded of the philosophical phrase- Does life imitate art or art imitate life? Is there any separation between running and life or are they mirror images of each other? Sometimes life is reflected in the run and other times the run is reflected in life. Or does everything come from the root of life? A deep philosophical question to ponder during a run! (And one that has been poetically expressed in the works of Oscar Wilde.)
If I have a great run, my day is always better. If I have a lousy run, my day is never quite balanced. If I’m under a lot of stress or pressure from life, my run can sometimes imitate that sentiment causing me to drag my feet and have a tough run while other times it helps me to process and cope with stress.
When I finally got back home I had run 8 beautiful, easy miles. I felt amazing and the runner’s high stuck with me throughout the entire day. To me, life is always better after a run.