What I learned on the rail trail


There are many reasons to go out for a run.  Fitness, health, friendship, camaraderie and yea maybe even competition.  And if you are in pursuit of THPL you often find that you feel good after a run only when you go out and “kill it” and I do believe that there are days when hard runs are just about the best thing that you can do.  At the time it was not obvious to me there was an alternative.  It took me quite a few years of running hard all the time before I realized that there was more to running than high heart rates and sore legs, I am there now and happy for it. 

It started with wanting to change my running I wanted to do something different.  First it was a bit of trail running, then a bit of track running and then longer runs, and when none of them truly satisfied me I reached deeper and then I realized what was missing was running with others.  But oh, how could I do that?  First, I really did not know anyone who wanted to run and second (when I did find someone) I was told that no one wanted to run with me (something about being too fast, ha-ha).  And yet I persisted, I told others I would run slowly, that I actually wanted just to be outside with others – that in fact it would most likely be fun to go out and run without having to sprint the whole way . To my amazement a few friends too me up on the offer.  We went to the rail trail and we ran and ran (I chatted up a storm) and they persisted.  They went a bit faster and I went a bit slower.  And before we knew it we had logged five glorious miles.  The start of a new phase of running?  Would they come out again? I was unsure how they might feel about it and so I waited a few days to ask again.  To my surprise, when asked, they said yes - Wow! now that was something else. We ran the rail trail again and again – multiple times a week.  We talked and ran and ran and talked.  Sometimes we ran easy and sometimes hard but always with each other.  Seems that we grew rather dependent on more than the running but the dialogue, partnership and connection.  We signed up for races and new challenges emerged and we went out and did more than any of us ever expected.  It was never at a break-neck pace – just the right pace to run with a friend.  

THPL can sometimes be misleading – it does not always require fast and hard.  Rather it can mean something different, like personal and connected.  Regardless, of the intent, it must be of quality and with an aim towards improvement.  Seems to me that when done right you intersect, life, learning and fitness.  What could be better than good running and good friends - seems like magic happens every time.  And so I learned, that yes, intervals make you fast but running with a friend makes you happy, content and better suited to THPL.  

The dance came to town again tonight and Sally agreed to dance with me - same song, but that is ok - we lasted 3:26+20 seconds then got in another 203 pushups on the 4:17 song.  

Loving Life and running for sure