“Do not think about it and just go run for the love of it!” ~ Luke Tyburski.
These are the words Luke gave me after I asked the question, "How do you determine the pace to run for 50 miles?" He first offered some thoughts. "It depends on what you're training for, if you have been using heart rate for long runs and what that's saying, what pace you think you can do, how you feel, is the course flat or hilly. All those variables matter," he said. He mentioned a much bigger factor though, and that is the "why."
What is really at the heart of my running. For something, from something or the love of it. I have been asked a lot this past week, “why I am running, what is the point?” What has taken me a long time to realize, is that I truly love it. I love the pain it brings when one goal is not quietly reached. It hurts but it does not change the relationship. I love the feeling after crushing a workout that no one sees or cares about it. I love when I am on the road and after a few miles of being defeated, all the energy somehow comes back and you get that 'game on' attitude as your splits get back to on pace. I love being part of a large community and knowing there are people that I consider family (the running community, that is) that I may never actually meet in my lifetime. I think a run does not only change my day, I think it contributes to bigger and larger movements out there.
This past weekend I put 35 miles in and some of it felt great while other times, I struggled. Still, each mile I never lost sight of the 'why' and that is because I love it. And when love is truly at the center of something, anything is possible, even when it is hard and everything feels like it's slipping away. My challenge will be to continue to run for the love of it.