I have a love-hate relationship with running. When I’m not running consistently, I forget how much I enjoy it. Laziness begets laziness and the days between runs just seem to increase. When I am running consistently I feel strong and energetic. I stand up straight and have a bounce in my walk. Winter is never good for running, and this winter is proving no different. No matter how good I know it will make me feel, it is nearly impossible to wake up when it’s still dark outside, the windows are rattling in the wind, and the air smells of sub-freezing temperatures.
This past November I completed my third marathon, the venerable ING NYC marathon. At what point can I consider myself a “marathon runner”? I think it’s somewhere between 2 and 4 races, which puts me smack in the realm of “marathoner.” I do love the thrill of the race, but I really like the training. I like running early in the morning and seeing the day wake up. I like running at night and going to bed with stretchy, relaxed muscles. I like a long run where you get to explore new areas of the city. I like to see the slow progression of the seasons as I pass by the same trees run after run.
But mostly, I like the way my appetite kicks into high gear somewhere around 20+ miles a week. I like the way water suddenly begins to taste bitter and Gatorade tastes like magic juice after more than an hour of running. The simplest meal has a new sensation of nourishment and satisfaction when it follows a long run. Nothing can transform food the way a huge appetite can.
I am currently in a wintertime running lull. I am looking for a springtime race to re-inspire me to run. Any suggestions?