Long Runs

My favorite runs are the longer ones.

I'm not talking about marathons or ultra-marathons—I'm not there yet. Or at least my brain isn't. I still haven't run longer than 21K.

Regardless of numbers, something magical happens after the 5-mile mark.

Up to that point runs sometimes feel like simple workouts—I'm just burning calories and exercising my muscles. But not much else. Everything is manageable. My breathing pattern is OK, my heart is not pounding out of my chest and my legs react nicely.

Things suddenly change when I hit the 5th or 6th-mile mark. Sometimes my breathing will be off, other times my heart will pound harder—a sign that I haven't slept, eaten, or hydrated properly the day before. It's here that the run begins.

I’m past the easy part and I now need to concentrate on and force my legs to follow along. This is what I love about the long runs.

I turn my music off and I enter a sort of meditative state.

I stop thinking and I just feel my legs going tap, tap, tap over and over.

It's a fantastic feeling. The whole world disappears.

When I finish, I'm tired but relaxed.

And I’m already thinking about the next run.

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