A Love Letter to Running
Happy Valentine’s Day!
On this most manufactured of holidays, let me loudly proclaim, “I love running!”
I love how a morning run makes the rest of the day feel manageable.
I love the feeling of “pleasant tiredness” after a long run.
I love running the same route over and over and watching it change with the seasons.
I love that I have a collection of self massage devices that could equip a PT clinic. And that every once in awhile I actually use some of them.
I love the smell of new (and sometimes old) running shoes.
I love shuffling through the warm-down because you just can’t lift your knees anymore.
I love running up a hill, feeling your heart kick into overdrive, and that moment just before you crest the top when your quads start to get heavy and dull.
I love that running is the best time for meandering conversations with friends, and also the best time to be alone with your thoughts.
I love cowbells and homemade signs and high fives.
I love people falling to their knees at the finish line, or raising their arms to the sky.
I love how one day, seemingly out of the blue, a distance that used to be a struggle now barely makes you tired.
I love the gentle crunch of a trail littered with crushed granite. And I love the soft “fsstt, fsstt, fsstt” of spikes on a track.
I love compression socks.
I love the first drink of water after a summer run and the taste of salt running down your face in the shower.
I love Running with Lydiard and Once a Runner and Running with the Buffaloes.
I love seeing dedication and hard work pay off with a PR for someone I coach.
I love how good chocolate GU can taste when you’re halfway through a long run and you’re starting to think maybe you got in a little over your head.
I love that my only knowledge of the metric system comes from races and workouts.
I love All-Comers Meets on endless late spring evenings.
I love when the right song comes on with a mile to go and your legs feel weightless.
But most of all, I love that there is no “right way” to run — that my running now looks nothing like it did 20 years ago, and that I still love it just as much.
I hope you do, too.
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About Coach Carl
Coach Carl is a USA Track & Field Level 2 endurance coach who works with runners of all ability levels to reach their goals. He has been featured in Runner’s World, Women’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and Competitor. For information on his coaching services, click here.