Why I Run

Tonight I had what I could call A Perfect Run.

Not every one of my outings is perfection. In fact, so many of them are difficult to get through, and I love them because of my struggles and stubborn desire to finish. Sometimes, during my runs, my legs feel like lead, my lungs like iron and it takes the first half mile or so to get into a decent pace before my legs and breathing catches up to my brain.

But not tonight. I must be doing something right. All the hours I’ve spent at the gym strengthening my quads, core and hips has done some work because the last week my runs have gone well and I have felt little pain and just a bit of soreness. Tonight, I started my run slowly and especially carefully. It had been raining all day so the streets were wet and slippery. I dodged the wandering tourists and grumpy commuters Downtown. I was able to gain some breathing space on Sansome Street past Broadway, where I could lose myself in my run. I could have run for miles and miles. Everything felt great, so I spent a few moments focusing on my form: back straight, yes, cadence, nice short steps: yes, breath even and rhythmic: you bet.

I continued running down The Embarcadero and ended in front of the Ferry Building. It was about as wonderful a 3-miler as I could ever hope for. I know I looked pretty silly smiling on the Geary 38 going home, but I didn’t care. Runs like this make me feel strong and free. They give me back all the power that slips away during the week when people put me down, when they tell me I’m too old, too fat, not good enough, not rich enough, not ambitious enough, not cool enough.

Tonight was why I run. For tonight, I felt true freedom.

Run on, get your power back! Cheers!


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