We took a trip back home last weekend and it was a perfect 2 days of family, friends, food and fun. Funny as this sounds (not funny, I guess, if you know me at all) but one of my favorite parts of the weekend was the 2 hours I spent running trails with my dad. These long weekend runs had started to become a habit when I lived nearby, and I really have come to miss them. Not only the special time with my dad all to myself, but the promise of a butt kicking week after week. No matter how strong I have been feeling as a runner, my dad always has a new route or a new hill or another push that challenges me more than I would ever do on my own. These challenges wear me down physically and mentally sometimes, but they leave me wanting more and becoming more motivated than ever.
Since moving to “The Valley” – I have climbed a total of ZERO hills. Unless you count the bridge over the Rio Grande River that my Garmin clocks at an elevation gain of 8 ft. I thought maybe my running at higher elevation would help balance out my lack of hill training, but no such luck. Turns out, your muscles forget how to handle hills quite quickly. When my heart wasn’t about to explode and my legs weren’t shaking like jello jigglers, I couldn’t help but be totally in love with my surroundings. It was the most beautiful, cool summer morning with loads of wild flowers, a beautiful stream and green every where! Being up in the mountains changes your perspective on everything, and leaping over water, scrambling over rocks and ever changing scenery makes for a welcome change from flat street running.
When my dad whipped out his iPhone to take a picturemy first thought was “oh please no, I look like I’m dying here!”. For some reason what popped out of my mouth was “I better look fast!”. My dad responded with “No, look happy”. The crazy thing was, I really WAS happy! Even in that sweaty, exhausted moment I was happy and rather than worrying about going faster, what really mattered was smiling and enjoying the moment.
We wrapped up our run with a chilly dip in God’s own natural ice bath, the Poudre river. It was so cold it hurt, but sure was an amazing way to soothe my tired legs!
I recovered with an apple, some gluten free coffee cake and a pot of my dads super strong French roast coffee. My heart was full, my legs were stripped and my soul was renewed.
What about you?
Where is your happy running place?
Have you ever been lucky enough to go for a run with one of your parents?