i remember when i first started running in 2005, my only goal was to finish the honolulu marathon. i signed up for team in training and dilligently logged my miles every week in order to get into shape so i could accompany my dad from start to finish. for him, it was a different story – it always seemed to me like running came effortlessly to my dad. he’d go out in the afternoon for a 4 mile run upcountry with his ipod, and come back before dinner to tell us about the dog that ran a mile with him, or the new cows that had been born near the old dairy. he’d stop to pick up coins whenever he’d come across them on the ground, judging a “good day” by whether he found more cents than the number of miles he’d run. (finding a quarter made it a VERY good day!) to me, running was an item on my to-do list, a chore. to my dad, it seemed a fun part of his daily routine.
i’ve never understood that til now. four years later, three marathons, three half marathons, and countless miles under my belt, i think i’ve finally gotten to the point where running is enjoyable. ironically, i’m in the best shape for running that i’ve ever been, and my pace has been slowly creeping faster and faster over the years. according to my latest nike plus sensor, i’ve run over 200 miles over 40 workouts, logging over 45 hours and burning more than 18,000 calories! and my first sensor had even more miles on it… who would have thought?
this morning i decided to take a different route for my run. lately i’ve been enjoying trying out new paths or checking out the scenery, people watching, or just kind of zoning out and letting my mind wander. today i did all of the above… instead of doing my normal loop around diamond head, i decided to go through waikiki. at 6:30am its really interesting to see the mix of characters either just getting up (lots of runners!) or perhaps just getting to bed. i had planned to run along the ala wai again but the sun was just too bright and i ducked back into the shadows of the hotels on kuhio avenue instead, taking the long way home.
for me, running has become more about the journey than the destination or even the number of miles. i don’t know when this subtle shift happened, but i won’t question it – i’m simply here to enjoy the ride…