I'm running with a plan mostly – to get ready to run another half marathon in January. But sometimes I'm tired and stressed about other things and a run just sounds like such a great way to get away.
Friday I felt that way. Thursday night, actually. I decided that I would get up early, but not before dawn, and I would run my full 5 miles, but not to try to gain speed. I just wanted to relax and run. To feel the breeze, to feel my muscles move, to not think about anything I'd left at my desk.
So I “slept in” until 6:30 and got on the road with a full two extra hours of sleep. I didn't try to run fast or breathe in a certain way that would help me run faster. I just ran. (I did stay focused on my posture because it helps me not to have an aching back after.)
I took along two of my new friends, Mark Dawson and James Blatch of The Self Publishing Formula Podcast, because they always amuse me as they tell me about new and interesting things.
And together we ran.
When I got to my only hill in mile 2, I decided that since the sun was up and I shouldn't have to worry about cars whizzing around the curve at the top of the hill and not seeing me, I'd run farther up the hill. (No sidewalk there.) It felt good to push myself because I wanted to and not because my running plan said to do it.
When I came to slight declines in the sidewalk, I ran faster to take advantage of the downward slope just because running faster feels so good.
And when I got to the end of my 5 miles, feeling so much better than earlier in the week, what a surprise to see I'd shaved a full minute off my time! Wow.
Times like those I see so many parallels between writing and running. Friday I was reminded that doing something for joy, even if it's also part of a bigger plan (run a race, earn a living), those are the moments to shoot for. Those are the moments we need to nurture and look for ways to make happen more often.
Because doing something that God has gifted you with, doing it with passion and joy, that's its own form of worship and gratitude. 🙂