Day 14: Describe the last moment you felt really, truly blissful.

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."  It's hard to believe that it's been thirteen years since I started distance running and that quote has proven entirely true.

Over those thirteen years I've been a state meet caliber competitor, injured to the point where I thought my running days were over, given the incredible opportunity to run a marathon for cancer patients and now for myself to stay healthy and fit.  And even when things really sucked (like the time I stressed fractured my 100 meters from the finish line in a cross country series I was trying to win or when I passed out during the District 3200 or when I wiped out/busted my knee open at mile one of my first half marathon) I still kept a smile on my face.  Those challenges gave me great stories to tell and laugh about later.  Plus, they made me want to come back stronger than before.

I had been down for the count for about a month and a half with a nagging knee injury I developed training for the FitOne Half Marathon (which I didn't get to run.)  It's been about a month since I started running again and it's been painfully slow.  I've gotten frustrated because I'm not hitting the pace marks I think I'm capable of hitting.

There was an evening not long ago where I sat down on the back stairs of my apartment watching the sunset, enjoying a Gatorade after an OK-ish run where I was totally at peace with not feeling as strong as I wanted to be.  I know if I keep chipping away at my training little by little, listening to my body, I'll get back to where I want to be.  I wasn't frustrated.  I realized that I actually had a lot of fun on my run.  I was blissfully happy with what I did out there that night. In fact, I get that feeling almost every time I run.

Honestly, the feeling of a runner's high when I'm done one with a workout is one of the most precious feelings in my life.  I was planning on writing more about my relationship with running, but honestly it's one of those things you just can't adequately put into words.  I'd be doing the last 13 years a disservice if I tried to. So I'll leave you with the same quote I started today with and go cherish the special memories running has given me...

 "Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."