Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Run Smiley Fartleks

Last Saturday was my 20 year high school reunion. I wasn't able to attend the 10 year reunion so I hadn't seen many of my classmates since graduation. I had been looking forward to this reunion for a year or longer. As you can imagine, I got a little nervous excited as well.

Saturday morning approached me bright and early. My son and I had our first soccer game at 9:00 am then we would head up to Michigan to my hometown. But, at the moment, it was only 6:00 am. I didn't have much time with needing to get ready for the day, clean the house, pack the car and eat breakfast. Although running wasn't on my list of compulsory things to do before the soccer game, it was on my list of things I want to do before heading to my 20 year reunion.

I headed out for the shortest run of the entire summer. This run was 1.08 miles to be exact. Although I was out to run smiley and build a little confidence for the day, I just felt the need. For speed. (said as heard in Top Gun) I suppose that is the good thing about running short distances. You don't have to worry about keeping some reserves in the gas tank for when you reach miles 3 - 10.

I ran. I ran faster. I kept running fast.

My legs turned over with ease. My feet fluttered across the ground. I matched my breath with the heartbeat of the earth. Cool breezes, so rare in August, flowed over my bare shoulders whisking away the sweat.

When I didn't think I could keep up the pace for another step, I slowed down to a jog. I controlled by breath and took stock of my feet and legs. I felt alive and energized.

A short distance later, I pushed forward again. I let my body go as fast as it could handle. I let my body go as far as it could handle. I let my body do everything that came natural. I sucked in oxygen and pumped healthy blood to my extremities. I let my heart do a dance; a jig, if you will.

The time came again when I reined in and interviewed my body parts then sped up again. Before I knew it, my mile was done and gone. I walked back into the house feeling as though I was 18 years old still.

I didn't intend to run fartleks but it's what felt smiley. I ran fast to feel good. I ran slow to feel good. Then I did it again. I didn't have a Garmin, a watch, or a GPS to tell me when the interval was over. I listened to my body and fartlek'd when it felt good to do so. I turned a 1 mile run into the ultimate challenge that I crushed.

I ran smiley fartleks.

A Rose By Any Other Name

On an after note: It took me all of one minute speaking with one of my sweetest friends from high school to try to convince her to check out the Run Smiley Collective. She ran the Kalamazoo Marathon last spring. She was telling me how she and her husband basically run out of obligation to their bodies. I really hope she comes to check us out. So, hello, Melissa, welcome! Have a nice read and a smiley run.


  1. Where were you in Michigan? I know some dandy spots for running and taking pictures ;)

    I did the Kalamazoo myself this year. It's supposed to be even better next year!

  2. Troy- I went to Plainwell and WMU also.


  3. Oh no kidding! Been in kzoo for 14 years here! What is it about southwest Michigan and barefoot runners?! XD

    Next time you're in the area we might need to get q smiley group run together!

  4. This post was awesome and oh SO smiley :))