Before I went running yesterday my wife and I talked, briefly, about it:
"How far are you running?"
"I don't know - till my legs tell me to stop."
"When will you be back?"
"Not sure." I grew agitated in my response, unintentionally.
See, I'm trying something. I'm trying NOT to focus on my watch anymore, not focusing on distance or time, but my wife was asking exactly those questions. I'm just running. Why? Because I used to love it. I used to run everywhere. It was FUN. And then I grew up and that went away.
I read Scott Jurek's book, and he talks about running over 100 miles at a time, about dropping from a race with a sprained ankle at mile 70. Mile 70! And I wonder about our little hangups about running: how every mention of our runs is about how far, how fast. Jurek has put up incredible times in badass races, but I wonder how much of our running habit has devolved into this kind of modern-day mockery of what it should be: old people running poorly for the wrong reasons. Can I get back to running for fun? Or is that an oxymoron?
I ran 8 miles yesterday. I ran out until it seemed right, then turned around. I looked at my watch, sure, but it was liberating to be in a contest with no one. Just myself and how far I could push my body.