Sunday, February 22, 2009

ULM Hot List

Things about running I'm loving this week:

1. New Jersey. Seriously. Running over the George Washington Bridge to the beautiful trails along the Hudson on the Jersey side reinvigorated me this weekend. Before I knew it I'd run six miles, then another seven, then 17. Crazy!

2. Hills. Again, counterintuitive, but I think I've realized in running, and in life, like that old lady in Parenthood said, I prefer the highs and the lows of the rollercoaster. Running up is hard, but then you get to run down.

3. Painted brown wooden signs with the wording carved out. Just a random observation, but the '70s-style signage takes me back to my childhood of summers at Girl Scout camp.

4. Secret beaches. Who knew there'd be a quiet little spot along the Hudson River where you can lay out and take in the sun. Need to go back there.

5. Running alone. I'd never run a long run without a jogging buddy until yesterday morning. I think I was afraid the boredom would derail me, but it turned out to be just the opposite. I kind of fell out of my head yesterday, and besides coming up with the idea for this post, not much else was going on for three full hours.

6. Brain mush. I love the feeling of not being able to think for up to 24 hours after a long run. I can barely get words out, but the ones that do get spoken seem to be the ones that matter.

7. Sharing. Doesn't matter what type--sharing advice, sharing water, sharing encouragement--I've just noticed runners tend to do more of it.

8. Saturday nights. There's nothing better than destroying all the good work you've done that morning with a few celebratory glasses of whatever.

9. Pretzles and cranberry juice. I may have found my perfect running nutrition mix.

10. Magic Runs. Okay, this is really just an addendum to number five, but I'm so grateful for those days when a three-hour run seems to go by in minutes. You're just enjoying the scenery around you, the air hitting your face, and the feeling of your body moving on its own. It's like you've found a secret running worm hole.

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