After returning from another one of my runs elated, someone recently asked me what separates a good run from a great one? This question really got me thinking as I go on runs all the time, nearly every day, but I only really remember a handful of really great runs. One such run was during a frosty English morning in Henley on Thames down by the river. My boyfriend and I charged down the hill to be greeted by the most beautiful view - glistening grass and steam rising off the river. Everything was so peaceful and still, it felt like we had woken up before the entire world, and even though we couldn't feel our fingers or toes it still remains one of the most breathtaking sites I have ever encountered and thus making for a truly inspiring run.
Another recent run that sticks out in my mind was in Los Angeles, a place where I feel totally at home and yet completely in awe of at the same time. This particular run was along Venice and Santa Monica Beach, which still remains as one of my favourite places to run as it just feels so alive with energy and is often graced with LA's glorious sun rays. I was in training for a marathon and ran 18 miles along the pacific coastline, to say that I was driven by the energy of the place may sound completely hippyish but it's true, I was. Well... that and the Blacked Eyed Peas album I had just downloaded. Each song pushed me farther, and allowed my mind to wander. I learnt then that if ever I am not in the mood to run, I should download a few new tunes to get me in the mood - this method still never fails.
The third most wonderful run I have ever been lucky enough to experience would have seem to most as incredibly dull. It was recently in Sydney (which must be home to the world's highest density of runners... they are everywhere) after I had just been given a gorgeous new Lululemon top (one of my new fave brands when it comes to running and yoga gear) and I have no idea why but I just loved running in it! Perhaps because I felt like one of them (a Sydney runner), or it might have been that I felt cool (god, that's sad isn't it?), but for whatever reason I just LOVED running in that top - I still do.
So, with all that in mind, it seems that a few factors can make a run a great one - it may be that you are in a beautiful place, or that your iPod pushes you further than you ever thought you would go, or perhaps you feel chic in your new fitness gear, but a really great run only really happens when you switch off and just totally absorb yourself in it, emerging happier on the other side.