Today is National Running Day.
National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. Wherever we are and whomever we’re with, we run—fast or slow, alone or with others, all over town or just around the block. It is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive, and fun. It’s the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick off a lifetime and life-changing commitment.
In conjunction with National Running Day, runners in Austin, Texas have started a Runner’s Day of Service. I think it’s an outstanding idea, and I hope the Day of Service gains some traction in the running community. The cities that host the really huge destination races give so much to allow us to participate in the races we love. Even when you go to your small local 5K, it’s impossible to count the number of hours that police and EMS give to make sure that we stay safe. I love the idea that runners would declare a specific day to give back to their communities.
Well… despite the hoopla, I didn’t run today. I really have no idea how I did this, but I have done something very bad to foul up my sacroiliac joint. I have unilateral pain in my left posterior that is radiating through my buttocks and down the junction between my quads and IT Band. This pain is quite gnarly. I celebrated National Running Day by going to massage therapy, which helped me regain my ability to walk upright without making The Pain Face. As my personal hero Dr. Kelly Starrett puts it, “Don’t go in the pain cave.” My totem animal is not in the pain cave. Yeah, I should spend more time doing the couch stretch. I am a walking horror movie when it comes to hip extension.
In the absence of running, my mind has been on Boston today. A few weeks ago I joined runners at our local running shop for a run to benefit One Fund Boston. Here’s how I described that run on my Facebook page:
My Boston Marathon benefit run: 3 miles, just under an hour. Pretty much as I expected: the running club group is super-fast and I lost track of them after about 5 minutes. But I am very familiar with the downtown area so I made up my own route. Actually I am kind of impressed that I estimated almost exactly 3 miles without my GPS. Since I was alone, I had plenty of time to think and be grateful for what I have. When I felt the pain in my ankle, I thought about someone who no longer has their foot, and how much they would love to be out running and have pain in their ankle. Towards the end, I was especially thinking about all the friends & family that I have conscripted into Sherpa duties for me throughout the years. Thanks to my Sherpas for carrying the backpacks and water bottles, for standing by the side of the road for as long as it takes me to show up, and for cheering when I get there. I pray that no Sherpa ever has to make as sacrifice so large as the finish line friends and families in Boston did.
I’ll say it again. Mad props to the Sherpas. We can’t do this without you.
There were a lot of posts on Facebook today about National Running Day. My favorite post came from a wonderful independent apparel company, Run Pretty Far:
The quote comes from a song, “Stupid Boy” by Keith Urban.
Oh. I needed to hear this song today.
It took her a while to figure out she could run
But when she did, she was long gone,
Ah, she’s gone.
Happy National Running Day.