One of Those Runs

AJW talks about the experience of having an amazing run when you least expect it.

By on October 26, 2012 | Comments

AJWs TaproomHave you ever had one of those runs that you just want to bottle up and save forever?

One of those runs that sneaks up on you when you least expect it and teaches you a thing or two?

One of those runs that, when all is said and done, reminds you of why we do this every day?

Well, I had one of those runs this past Tuesday morning…

The alarm went off at 4:30 am and I quickly turned it off. All the usual stuff ran through my head:

“Look, you are not training for anything,” “you’re just coming back from surgery and a major injury, the rest will do you good,” “you have a long day of work ahead,” “you need the additional sleep because there’s a Board Meeting later in the week,” etc, etc, etc…

But, when the alarm went off again, on cue at 4:39 am, I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed, padded my way downstairs to the coffee maker and started my pre-run routine. Before I knew it I had my shorts on, then my shirt, gloves, hat, and finally, shoes…I said to myself, “Just get the run in, at dinner you’ll be glad you did.” I headed out with no other goal than to get it done.

And then, It happened. Soon after heading out the door I got to the turn by the first wide curve in 5:40 and to the top of the clearing in 9:20. I crested the Saddle in 12:50 and passed by the big Brown House with the cute dog in 15:50 (my previous PR was 16:00 to this point). I passed the broken down old horse barn in 18:14 and crested the hill before Free Union Road in 24:10. “Hey, wait a minute, if I can keep this up I could PR the 8.1 mile Ridge Road Run.” I said out loud as if anyone cared or could even hear me. And then, for the first time in a long while, I got competitive with myself. I got to the turnaround in 30:14, crested the Big Climb in 36:00 flat and by the time I passed by the horse barn I felt like I was floating. Through the cool, dark, predawn air I was moving totally and completely free. The rest of the run was a blur but in the end I PR’d the run by 30 seconds over my previous best and actually didn’t even feel that tired!

Does this matter to anyone but me? No.
Does anybody reading this actually care about my Ridge Road Run PR? No.
Will this matter in my build-up to Western States next year? Of course not.
But, on this day, did this make me a better man? Absolutely!

Today’s run was indicative and emblematic of what I love about running. No matter who you are, no matter how fast or slow you are, no matter how much you care and no matter who is looking, running, the sheer act of getting out there, makes us better. Running makes us better at who we are and running makes us better at who we want to be. In fact, for those of us who truly embrace it, running is who we are. And that, for me, is enough to get me out there again tomorrow.

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week
Lagunitas Brown ShuggaThis week’s Beer of the Week is a seasonal offering from Lagunitas Brewing Company called Brown Shugga’. It’s the product of a mistake the brewer made a few years ago while attempting to make Barleywine. When things went awry he tried to correct his mistake by adding a bunch of brown sugar to the mash. Brown Shugga’ was born! But, don’t be fooled by the sweet sounding name as its 9.9% ABV packs a potent punch.

Call for Comments (from Bryon)
When was the last time you had one of those runs? Tell us about it!

Andy Jones-Wilkins

Andy Jones-Wilkins is an educator by day and has been the author of AJW’s Taproom at iRunFar for over 11 years. A veteran of over 190 ultramarathons, including 38 100-mile races, Andy has run some of the most well-known ultras in the United States. Of particular note are his 10 finishes at the Western States 100, which included 7 times finishing in the top 10. Andy lives with his wife, Shelly, and Josey, the dog, and is the proud parent of three sons, Carson, Logan, and Tully.