Happy holiday!

National Running Day looks like peaceful green trails.

It looks like my favorite hill times 12.

It looks like sweat-soaked clothes and quads carved by 16 weeks of marathon training.

Happy National Running Day!

I’m so glad I was able to celebrate this year with a five-mile run. Last year, I bemoaned the holiday because I was still recovering from a badly sprained ankle and couldn’t even walk unassisted, let alone run.

Snooping through my blog archives from last June, I found my very first post-injury “run” on June 26. My walk/run splits looked like this:

Two whole miles. That shit was hard.

I’d nearly forgotten about slogging through those walk/run intervals, but I vividly remember how thrilled I was to be able to run again. I also remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I was finally able to run a mile straight through — it took me until August!

My progress was slow, but I was determined. I got out there. I wanted it.

Even when it was hard, I found joy in the challenge.

Maybe that’s why I love running so much.

It has taught me how to be tough, how to embrace discomfort, and how to push myself farther than I think I can go.

It has made me appreciate my body for its strength, endurance, and resilience.

It has helped me connect with countless people in person and online who share the same crazy love.

And it has encouraged me to always expect more from myself, to set higher goals, and to believe I can achieve them.

Thanks, running. I owe you one.

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