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The pursuit of passion

"Think Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast. You start with easy, because if that's all you get, that's not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless... When you've practiced that so long that you forget you're practicing, you work on making it smooooooth. You won't have to worry about the last one - you get those three, and you'll be fast." - Caballo Blanco in Born to Run.

Yes, I've used the above quote to start a few blog posts in the past, and in a recent tribute to Caballo Blanco, also known as Micah True, who died unexpectedly early last month while out on a run.

But those words carry great meaning - whether you're waiting out the final days before a race, just starting a new training cycle or find yourself coming back from injury.

Easy. Light. Smooth.

That's exactly the way running should feel. Those 3 words put the focus on fun, form and attitude.

As I rebuild from a tough spring, getting back on the roads has helped me regain some perspective. Yesterday, Riley and I struck out on an early morning run - a tough turn around from an 8-miler the evening before. The wind, normally my nemesis, felt terrific in the pre-dawn hour. Half way into the run, the sun poked above the horizon, suspended in a haze above the lake. Riley splashed into the water for a drink.

Regaining confidence, I feel better about running Grandma's Marathon, now a little more than 4 weeks away. Not at a pace to set any personal records, but simply to enjoy the run pain-free and share the experience with friends. And I'm now looking at running the Twin Cities Marathon, perhaps as a charity team member, something I've not done before.

But, first up, I'm excited to return to Fargo this weekend for the half marathon. Four months ago, the goal was to set a personal best in the half on my way to chasing a Boston qualifier in Duluth. A severely sprained ankle, and the resulting issues from the injury sustained in a desert trail race, derailed those plans. Most importantly, though, I'm back to running better and enjoying it. So while Fargo won't be a fast race for me, it will be a celebration - a chance to soak up a terrific atmosphere, visit with friends, share in their victories and embrace running as a lifelong study in the pursuit of passion.