10 of the Best Runs Ever
Hills. IT bands. The sudden gurgling reminder of last night’s Jucy Lucy. There are many factors that can transform a normal run into a grueling nightmare. Running is hard, and time and time again, we lament the many challenges of the running lifestyle. Yet, there are also days we collapse into a fit of giggles upon returning from a run that can only be described as the “Best. Run. Ever!” Lest we get into the habit of seeing the Gu pack as half empty, here are ten times we can proudly proclaim we had the “Best Run Ever!”:
- The “I’m Going to PR” Run
You’re two weeks out from the big race when everything clicks into place. Your legs are moving smoothly and quickly, your breathing is relaxed, and your achilles is painless. The ground is like those automatic walkways in long airport terminals - the world seems to be flying by more quickly than normal. Your pre-race training doubts are erased, and you just know this race is going to be your race.
- The Vacation Run
While most of the world thinks vacation and exercise are antonyms, runners know there’s no better way to explore a new area than on foot. The Vacation Run mixes together the perfect potion: new scenery, relaxed muscles, and a chance to give mid-run head nods to new faces. Whether you’re vacationing in Australia or Alabama, the Vacation Run offers relaxed expectations and an intriguing new environment.
- The Celebratory Run
You just received a promotion at work. Your fiancé said yes. Your son is finally moving out. The celebratory run always goes by quickly while you dream of future plans: swiveling your plushy chair in the corner office, honeymooning in Tahiti, or decorating your new crafting room.
- The First Nice Day of Spring Run
As the days shorten and the temperatures cool, we Minnesotans know winter isn’t far away. At times, subzero temperatures and snowstorms can wreak havoc on your winter training, slowing your pace as you slide across ice, locking you inside on the treadmill, or freezing your eyelashes while, during a moment of weakness, you pondered taking up hot yoga instead. Yet, each year we’re rewarded with “The First Nice Day of Spring” run that melts our frozen frowns into warm smiles. In an instant, the population of Minneapolis seems to triple as fellow outdoor enthusiasts flood the Chain of Lakes’ paths with equally gleeful grins.
- The Old Friend Run
The Old Friend Run isn’t about the pace, or the view, or the muscles. The joy of this run comes from the company-your old roommate, cousin, or long-lost friend. It doesn’t matter if you’re running slower than you normally do; the ab workout from laughingly recounting your high school hairstyles, college dating escapades, or Aunt Maribelle’s holiday hot dish disaster of 2003 will make up for it.
- The New Shoes Run.
You’re certain you look more legitimate, stride smoother, and finish faster in your new shoes. Your shoes will be the key to smashing that elusive PR, conquering that marathon, finding a boyfriend, and solving for X. New running shoes are magical, and this run proves it.
- The Storm’s A Comin’ Run
The clouds to the west look dicey, but you need to get in this run. You lace up your shoes and drop your pace until you’re huffing and puffing, checking your watch and eyeing those imposing clouds in your best attempt to outrun the storm. You feel a little rebellious and, if your arms weren’t pumping by your side, you’d pat yourself on the back for proving your toughness in the face of danger. Even if you get caught in a downpour, this run’s storm clouds have a silver lining: you can probably skip the shower.
- The Brush Your Shoulder Off Run
Maybe you’ve dominated a tempo run, sailed through challenging intervals at the track, or completed a long, slow run at a distance you never thought possible. The “Brush Your Shoulder Off” run happens the moment you realize that you are as close as you’ve ever been to invincible.
- The Old Stomping Grounds Run
Exploring new places and running new races are fantastic ways to add fun to your run, but there’s an irreplaceable magic in the familiarity of home. Maybe home is the quiet Nebraska neighborhood where you first ran with your dad, the middle school track in Minnesota where you won your first race, or the Seattle city block where you laced up your shoes and started your weight loss journey. Maybe your Home Sweet Home run is on a beach, up a mountain, on an old tree-lined highway in the Iron Range, or along the Mississippi River. No matter where you start your watch, this run warms your legs and your heart.
- The “Blessed to” Run
You watched an inspirational YouTube video about an amputee-turned-marathoner. You visited a friend confined to the couch by chemotherapy. You Skyped with your big brother stationed in Iraq. Maybe you’re recovering from an injury and are hitting the streets for the first time in months. This run isn’t about speed, distance, location, or fancy gear. On this run, you are alive. Thankful. Blessed to be a runner.
Your Best Runs Ever
Running challenges us with elusive goals, bodily pain, and mental distress. Yet running also strengthens us, empowers us, blesses us, and unites us. What makes the list for your “Best Runs Ever?”