Thanks to a lot of anal record-keeping, unusually warm weather, and a gym membership; as of today, my total stands at 199 runs. They've come in all varieties.
- The breathless, weightless, wind-at-your-back feeling that propelled me to my first sub-35:00 five-miler.
- The July afternoon, heat index of 108, sweat rolling off my body in undulating sheets, the post-run stretch a constellation of droplets pouring onto my porch with the slightest motion of body.
- The busy weekend, accelerating to pass a waddling stroller-parent combo, or gel-pack sporting, headphone-wearing, all-weather clad chump; I love it when my breathing rate doesn't increase even when speeding up.
- The slow slog into a biting wind, wiping away tears from the cold, while still digesting a thick knot of honey ham and turkey breast...ah, the day-after-Thanksgiving run.
My favorite? The zen run where you lock into a pace, hold it, and feel like you're not even moving, like you're on an invisible conveyor stretching to some foreign horizon, feet slapping down on asphalt feels healing and restorative, like you're running on cotton balls or grass as plush as the ChemLawn-funk smelling yard down the block. One of these runs every two weeks is a blessing, a reminder why I run. And it's still an essential part of my mental well-being. The only things I spent more time doing in 2012? I'd wager on eating, cooking/planning meals, and sleeping.
(199 runs, 906.5 miles. For those keeping track at home...er, me.)