Wednesday, December 19, 2012

a good run

"a good run."

there was a time when i would've said, "there's no such thing."

i can't say that any more.

for me, if 2012 was nothing else, it was a searchlight-illuminated shrine to change.

before this year, i knew running was nothing but drudgery. i knew i could never enjoy it. therefore, i knew running 13.1 miles was an eye-rolling impossibility.

i was wrong. and wrong. and wrong again.

to paraphrase agent K, imagine what i'll know next year.

until then, there are people to blame. lisa dunn-soeby, for one. it was her post-13.1 race photos that made me think, "if she can do that, i can do that." thanks, cousin. please don't take up base jumping. and if you do, don't post photos.

then there's lilly nelson, who turned me on to, where one can log everything from training runs to race results to the shoes you wore. the immediate gratification derived from documenting this kind of minutia is intoxicating, and has played a not-insignificant role in my running addiction. hello, lilly, my name is michael, and you're an enabler.

and there's phil kochik, owner of seven hills running shop in our neighborhood. one warm fall day before he opened, phil was inside setting up shop and i was running by. i stopped, walked into the store and like a smiling little kid just said, "awesome!" note: i've never done that before, or since. doing that sort of thing often would be kinda weird.

anyway, every saturday morning, rain or shine, phil hosts a trail run through discovery park. i've joined in just about every weekend, instead of sleeping in or staying inside where it's warm and dry. there was a time in my life when i would've cursed phil for this. now i just say, "thank you" and buy all my gear at his shop.

there are other people who have contributed to this transmogrification: my colleagues, who smile and nod when i talk about my most recent race...and even wish me luck the friday before!

my chiropractor, who is a runner, and knows how to fix my hip and my low back and my leg when it's, like, half an inch shorter than the other leg.

most importantly, the missus, who accommodates my new obsession and tolerates the running shoe fetish i've developed. (i don't believe she's fully aware of the exact number of shoes i've stashed under the bed and in my closet...which is just as well.)


amby burfoot, a legend in running circles (and running in circles), recently wrote:

"Running is easy: Put one foot in front of the other. Staying motivated to run requires much more. It takes thinking and planning. It takes believing in yourself and the value of your workout time. Try to hit 1,000 miles a year for as long as you can. That's roughly 20 miles a week, a solid marker of dedication and persistence."

i'm therefore pleased to report that with a little less than half of december remaining on the 2012 calendar, i've logged 1,004 miles. among accomplished runners, this probably seems like a good start. you know, a solid half year. because i'm not "an accomplished runner," i'm easier to impress. i'm hopeful that there will come a time in my life when 1,000+ miles is routine. expected. a good start. (until then: wow! 1,004 miles! really!)

last sunday i ran the "12 K's of christmas" event in kirkland, wa. it was cold and wet and under few other circumstances would i have been outside in such conditions. but there i was lining up with 1,500 other, um, dedicated and persistent people, trying to stay warm before the start. then we were all running, slogging up long hills, where soon we forgot to be cold.

i set out thinking, "last race in 2012, have fun, enjoy the scenery, be in the moment, don't worry about your time." i did all of those things...and somehow set a new PR for the 12k.

in all, it was a good run.



12k (2)
10m trail (2)
13.1 trail (1)
13.1 road (3)

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