Saturday, September 19, 2009
The sensations of a long run
Over the course of a long run, I've come to learn that my body and mind go through a lot of sensations. During my longer runs (like today's 20 miler), I wonder if my body knows what it is about to go through. Do my legs know at 8AM that they are going to run 20 miles? Do my muscles know at 5 miles that there are still fifteen left to crank out? I know my muscles now understand that they ran 20.4 miles today. I'm not doing the pregnant waddle, but climbing stairs is a slower process than normal. But as much as I prep mentally and physically, I know that my body does not always know what is coming - but it does know how to react once the miles start to add up!
The first few miles are always a warm-up of sorts - my legs and mind awaken and I find my stride. The middle are mental - I'm just coasting along at that point and taking everything in. The last chunk is where things happen. Sometimes that's when the pain and doubt set in. Other times, I break through a wall (not The Wall of the marathon) when I feel as if I can go on for a long time.
That's what happened to me today. At mile 17, I turned onto North Capitol, where I had just a straightaway, one turn, then a dash to the end. I was so happy to be at that point in the run, and to still feel good. The feeling morphed into something else - exhilaration. It's very cool to experience that - my endorphins must've been firing away like crazy.
The picture in the blog was snapped by the professional photographer at the Half marathon last week. I think it was around mile 11 that the picture was taken, and I think it captures how I feel about running - pure joy. It just serves as a release, and really makes me happy, even if there's pain involved in running. I felt the same way on marathon day, and I hope to again in 5 weeks. Pretty cool.