Near the end of a high-mileage week, at the end of April, I returned home from work and laced up the shoes.
Expecting to slog through a workout, my main motivation to get out the door was to avoid feeling guilty for not running. But something strange happened along the way. It actually felt good.
In the highest mileage week of the year, just 4 days removed from a 25-mile trail race and back-to-back 10-milers, the feeling finally returned.
I felt like a runner, again.
With all the miles, races and adventures, that’s what these pursuits boil down to — a feeling.
For 9 months, that feeling has been mostly elusive. It was there on the day of the New York City Marathon. And it returned nearly 6 months later during a 5-miler on the last Thursday in April. It was present for a good chunk of an 18-miler a week ago and yesterday during a trip out to Buffalo River State Park.
In less than a week, thousands of runners will gather for the Fargo Marathon. Many will be aiming for a specific time. Others will be looking to finish.
For this runner, I’ll be chasing a feeling — that despite the imposing distance and demanding task that I’ve set as my course, the experience will be worth remembering.