Tuesday, August 14, 2012

just one little run

Sometimes all you need is one run...

One little run to tell you that you're on the right track and that your dreams and goals don't seem so far off. I've been waiting for that run for months now and it unexpectedly came last Saturday morning.

My training has been off all summer. Even with a 5k PR, I've had a really difficult time finding a tempo pace and holding it steady and it's been driving me nuts. When the wheels started slowly falling off the bus for me back in late April where I had to majorly back off my training, tempos were pretty much out of the question. Sustained efforts wreaked havoc on my knee so I had to shelf them for awhile. Trying to get back in the tempo game has been extremely frustrating and I've had quite a few misses.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling groggy. The weight of my up and coming move, the heartbreak of leaving my beautiful city, and the laundry list of tasks that need my attention have all been sucking the life out of me. But I headed out the door anyways as a time to escape the boxes which are safely guarding the contents of my life that have taken over my home. Bare walls and empty cupboards aren't exactly screaming inviting to me these days, and running has been the only thing keeping me sane. The pit in my stomach telling me life as I know it is about to see a drastic change in the matter of days stays with the clutter of boxes as I sweat out my suburban life anxieties on those precious last few Chitown runs.

This is what my home looks like right now 5 days out from our move
It's a scary disorganized mess
There was no watch and no expectation. Saturday should have been a recovery day for me after a pathetically failed attempt of speed work the day before into 20+ mph winds coming directly off the lake that left me feeling like I was running in place (this girl knows what I mean because we were the only two crazies out there). But the weather was perfect, my legs felt ready to go, my iPod seemed to be shuffling the songs just right for the day, and the path was enticing me.

It starts up North from Hollywood,
Water on the drivin' side.
Concrete mountains rearin' up
Throwin' shadows just about five.
Sometimes you can smell the green,
If your mind is feelin' fine.
There ain't no finer place to be,
Then runnin' Lake Shore Drive.
And there's no piece of mind or place, you see,
Ridin' on Lake Shore Drive.

I let myself get carried away one last time.

Photo taken last fall
This is my favorite secret little nook to swing through
No tourists and usually completely quiet
One of Chitown's best kept secrets

One last time to hammer it out on my favorite 12 mile route as the sun rose waking up the city where my legs powered me through like steam engines. Never in my life had I needed a steady progressive 12 miler in my own solace like I did that day, and it will go down as one for the record books for me coming at the perfect time.

One little run is all I needed to know that my sanity is still in tact and that my legs haven't forgotten how to churn a quick pace. I know that I'm pathetically nostalgic over my city, but how could I not be? This place has a decade of memories and growth on me. Chicago has shaped me into who I am affirming that it's okay to do my own thing while throwing caution into the wind and not giving a crap what anyone thinks.

This is how I'm always going to remember this city...

Ali Engin Photography
riding south on LSD heading into town. Just me and the lake path. Simple. Beautiful. Peaceful.


  1. I am over here feeling all nostalgic FOR you! So so glad you had a great run on a perfect day. And what a FANTASTIC picture of you, with the city in the background. Love it.

    I'm not even going to look at you anymore.
    that's it.
    I'll just remember you and Chi-Town like that going forward.
    From now on I'm reading your blog with my eyes closed.


  3. OMG, that last photo is so gorgeous!! Is it really you?? WOW.

  4. That photo of you is awesome! What a great way to remember some of your favorite times in the city! And that's one of the great things about Chicago--even though you may move away, it will always be there for a visit when you want to go! :)

  5. Oh I didn't know you were moving! I'm all choked up after reading this. You are amazing lady.

  6. WOW....gorgeous photo of you. LOVE it!!!! I'm sorry you have to move. I hate mving. It;s so hard!

  7. You make me want to move to Chicago! Good luck with getting your things to your new place.. it is always such a daunting task!

  8. I love everything about that picture!! It's like it came straight out of a running magazine only it's way better than any "Rave run" picture from Runner's World! Emotional post to read but I'm sure God has great things in store for this next phase of your life.

  9. Nice pictures of the city. That last picture is awesome!

  10. Oh, you make me want to go on a run downtown. I hope you enjoy the rest of your runs before you move and that they help relieve some of the stress from moving!

  11. Oh I am just so sad for you, it seems that you really love that city! I definitely have to vacation in Chicago one day! It looks just beautiful there!
    Good luck on what your journey brings you...it will all work out for the better in the end!

  12. So happy you got this awesome run in :) Everything you are feeling about the move is, well, what you should be feeling. It's okay to feel sad.

    What is the story behind that pic? I love it!

    We went to the Shedd on Friday and walked to Adler. HOLY SCHNIT it was windy!!!!

  13. Britt! I know Chitown (and especially the lakefront) is going to miss you. What am I going to do without my fellow 'crazy' out there on the path in 25 mph winds? Believe me, seeing you was the best pick-me-up during that workout! May I ask where you're moving? I'm running the Peapod Half in Batavia on 8/26. Way west, I know, but if there's a change you will be out there it would be nice to see a familiar face.

  14. It's so hard to leave a place you've grown to love but try to remember a new beginning means new possibilities :) And ditto to what everyone else has said about the last photo - you look amazing and strong!!

  15. Whata beautiful photo and a beautiful desctription on your run <3

  16. That last picture is absolutely incredible! WOW!