Chasing 42

Life, the Universe, & Running

Enjoying the Journey

Over the course of this past weekend, I found myself reflecting a bit on the year thus far, and the significantly increased training schedule that has in some ways dominated my life. This may have something to do with the fact that my training is peaking right now, which meant running 30 miles on Saturday and another 22 on Sunday. However, it also sunk in more just how much running I’ve done this year. I’ve logged well over 1500 miles already, and there are still 3 months to go! Suffice it to say, that is by far the most running I’ve ever done in the single year. Throughout all of those miles, I’ve had plenty of time to think.

Although all of this training leads to something, namely _______ race, looking at it as entirely about that day can be a very anti-climactic experience. Thus, however cliched it may be, I’ve come to embrace the reality that it really is about the journey. There are simply so many amazing things that running has brought into my life, and I am thankful for them all.

Just this past week, on several long runs, I was able to peel back the miles with very good friends, chatting about life, the universe, and running as we went. There are many different ways to make friends and sustain friendships, but nothing seems to compare with the power of a long run. When I am out on the road with friends, nothing seems to be off limits in terms of conversation, which keeps my ideas and imagination flowing, and makes the bonds of friendship grow that much stronger.

In my former life, I worked as a Residence Life professional, overseeing a residence hall and working with college students. The Hall Director position is the ultimate swiss-army knife of jobs in that you are simultaneously an administrator, counselor, supervisor, advisor, de facto parent, disciplinarian, cheerleader, academic advisor, instructor, and friend. Interestingly, I get some of the same “pings” of satisfaction from my running conversations. Running gives you this shared experience that allows you to open up to other people in a variety of different ways, and they happily reciprocate. The result is a forum to share anything and everything that happens to be on your mind, and listen attentively to the same musings of others. Aside from the occasional traffic light, you have each others’ undivided attention while at the same time occupying your body with the action of running. It really is a perfect combination.

In one of my first posts to this blog, I commented on the value of friendship in the running community and what it has done for me. Not only am I even more sure of the benefits now, but I have a few thousand more miles, a few hundred more hours to prove just how right I was then and am now.

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