Taking advantage of this amazing stretch of weather we've been having, I ran outdoors tonight. Motivated by how amazing it felt to be out on a warm evening with December just days away, I pushed myself to run further and harder than I have in over a month. Maybe it was endorphins, or how it's impossible to avoid being contemplative during twilight hours-- whatever the inspiration-- it was on this run tonight that I thought how thankful I am for my lungs.
I thought this when my lungs started to hurt. When I run hard and fast, there's pressure in my chest, compression in my lungs. This probably sounds unpleasant, but I actually like the way it feels (and personally, I think every distance runner has to be a little bit of a masochist). With each inhale I'm rejuvinated by cool, fresh air. With each exhale I let something go (and hear Caren's voice, telling me to do so.) It's therapeutic. The more they hurt, the more I pay attention to how good it feels just to breathe.
[Note: this is much deeper than I intended to be today. The first mile of my run I planned on writing about how thankful I am for '80s power ballads. I'll save that post for another day.]