Back in college, whenever we’d push it hard on a run, workout or not, we’d call it “pounding.” It meant we’d pressed the pace and just took off, completely in the flow, literally pounding down the road. A sheer release of energy.
Though my emotional state one week after the Boston Marathon is thankfully inching closer and closer to what I’d consider normal, it hasn’t exactly been business as usual at RW. Our entire staff has pored over every detail of April 15, rehashing it all while we try to figure out how to cover the tragedy in our upcoming issue. It’s been an exhausting, but exciting, and heartbreaking, but uplifting process that I’m completely thrilled to be a part of because I know the end result will be something that will make the running community proud.
But what I realized on my run today was that I still have some bottled up, lingering feelings that I need to work out. (I know this is completely normal after going through something so life-changing and traumatic.) I’ve been so focused on work (or on anything else besides the marathon) that I hadn’t noticed it was there, building up in my chest, needing to be released.
It’s incredible how you can actually feel it.
Long, irrelevant story aside, something set me off today during our run. The emotions bubbled to the surface, and I felt the need to just get away. Now. Fighting back tears, I tore down the street on my own. For that last mile and a half of my run, I pounded out the pent up sadness, anger, frustration, and stress into the concrete, feeling that with every deep, swelling breath I was letting it all go.
I’ve experienced this maybe only once or twice before. The last time was in the midst of my senior year of college. I’d been so stressed out with work that the anxiety had, like today, been building up in my chest for weeks. All I could think about was desperately needing to just run fast, far, and alone. On what was supposed to be an easy long run with my team, I got permission from my coach to do my own thing. I couldn’t wait any longer. I’d reached my breaking point. I broke away from the group, flying down the road letting myself cry it out at times. I felt like I could run forever.
I returned six miles later rejuvenated. The weight that had been sitting on my chest was almost gone.
Like it has countless times in the past, running amazed me today. It’s the ultimate cure-all that only requires a pair of shoes and an open road. I’m so thankful that I’ve found something in my life that allows me to work through tough times, release whatever might be inside me that needs releasing, and escape.
How lucky we runners are, huh?
Because laughter is always in order, here’s a funny, somewhat-relevant-to-this-post clip from an otherwise not-so-funny movie (At the :45-second mark, that was more or less me today.):
QUOTE OF THE POST: “Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in removing tension and allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring.” – Jimmy Carter
Have you ever experienced a run like this?