What Makes Running Memorable?

  Jul 27, 2016  |  #Running

Hello there – we’re just about half way through the week, which is always an accomplishment, right?

My head is in a running mentality lately. Distances are slowly ramping up in marathon training, and I’m already going through lots of ups and downs, which as runners know, is completely normal (I think?). As I was telling Ed, I feel like I alternate between feeling really really good on a run and feeling dead and beyond exhausted.

Marathon Training

I’ve become somewhat discouraged about my pace more often in the last few weeks – even if I’m running and feeling good, I’ll look at my pace and see that it’s much slower than my goal race pace. Though I’m still months out and the focus right now is on building mileage, it can still be disheartening to think I have run much quicker in the past. I know our workout intensity is largely affected by the heat as Suz discussed in this post, so I am conscious that the weather is probably playing a role as well. This infograph was pretty eye opening!


Besides unbearable temperatures…

What Makes a Run Worth Remembering? 

Thinking about some of my more recent runs got me off on thought tangents in that we all have moments of greatness where we may feel invincible on our runs. At the same time, there are going to be not-so-good runs too. It’s just part of the deal – not every run will be one where you’re feeling 100%.

What makes running memorable


I think it’s normal to have more clarity and better recollections of the good and bad runs. Those are what we tend to remember, right? But still, day in and day out, we continue to run.  Running is always there. Not every run will be memorable – in fact, most of them won’t. Your body goes through it time and time again, and it just becomes second nature. It becomes part of us.

I find that races are often more memorable because you have a goal you work towards, a time you’re trying to make or beat, and you often remember the whole day as an experience since it’s planned out so intricately. You wake up at a certain time, you already know what you’re going to eat, what you’re going to wear, what time you’ll arrive at the race, where you’ll park, where you’ll stretch and warm up, and whatnot.

However, aside from races, there are some normal every day runs that I find memorable for other reasons.

Other Memorable Runs: 

  • Running a new route 
  • Exploring a new city
  • Trail runs
  • Listening to a great podcast 
  • A run where I had a spectacular idea (at least I thought it was)
  • Setting a PR
  • Getting caught in the rain
  • Running with others
  • Runs where I fall and get a new “battle wound”
  • Those runs where I hate to stop because I feel like I could go for hours

These are the runs that are most memorable to me. The ones I can look back and remember how I was feeling at the time, for better or for worse.

My Favorite Runs: 

If I’ve had a few bad runs in a row, I try to remember back to what made prior runs so great. Running with Ed is rare, but when we do run together, he inspires me in running and in life. He is so uplifting and positive – it’s no wonder he was a Division 1 college coach for 10 years. I become so motivated after chatting with him, and sometimes just changing that mentality is all I need. Running is very mental so sometimes, I just need to a) stop feeling sorry for myself, b) stop making excuses or c) just accept that I’m having an off day.

You may not know this about me, but I love running at night. I think it’s similar to those who love early morning runs – the streets are bare, people are either asleep or just inside, there’s minimal outside noise and banter. I’m alone with my thoughts, my podcasts, my music, what have you. I’m better able to focus on my running form, my breath, and just putting one step ahead of the other. This is enjoyable to me.

Thirdly, I love running with a clear mind – where I embrace the thoughts that enter, but don’t let them bother or affect me. At the same point, life is life and we can’t always run with a clear mind. Emotions are completely normal.

Memorable Runs, Running

Have you ever turned to running when you’re frustrated? Or happy? Or stressed? Confused? Just Blah?

Emotions have totally transformed some of my runs, and if I’m being honest, gotten me through some runs I may not have gotten through otherwise. If I’m pumped up, excited, stressed or frustrated, I can take it out on my run. This built up energy may fire me through a tough workout, or I may use that time to “cool down,” gather my thoughts and come back to a problem or situation that is bothering me.

Running is there through all of the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and good and bad times in life. Even if we don’t remember every run, it’s a sport we owe respect to for helping us be who we are.

[Tweet “Despite ups and downs, trials and tribulations, good times and bad times, #running is there. #runchat”]

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud, Suz, Rachel, Debbie, and Lora  for Running Coaches Corner, and Jen for Workout Wednesday.

You tell me: 

Have you been discouraged about pace during your training?

What are some of your more memorable runs? 

40 responses to “What Makes Running Memorable?

  1. Like you, I enjoy running in the evening. IT’s so tranquil on a hot summer night when the sun’s gone down & the bugs are buzzing. Also, it’s so quiet on a winter evening, with nothing but the moon and a million stars lighting your path.

  2. I don’t think that temperature chart even has the temps we’ve been experiencing?? It’s been so hot lately that I am not even worrying about my time. I’m just trying to concentrate on enjoying myself. I think my most memorable runs are the ones when I beat my personal goal or just feel really great (no pain).
    Good luck with the training. It sounds like you have a great coach 😉

    1. Ugh it’s so unbearable. I didn’t think I could experience heat this intense here. Good runs are definitely pain free. I need to start running without a watch to just focus on how I feel, not pace.

  3. I think this is actually something I’ve been struggling with, training for marathon no 2. The first time around, everything was so exciting and new. I’d never run those distances, and felt so accomplished when I did. Now it’s a mix of knowing I can run that far (which i great!) but also… oh I’ve already run that far, so what’s new? Haha! Definitely accepting not every run is going to be exciting and awesome, and finding new ways to switch things up has been helping. Any run that has an emotion associated with it, is definitely a memorable run for me!

  4. I try to remember that each run has a purpose. On my easy days, I run 2 minutes slower than race pace. It’s important to get that recovery even if it’s hard to conceptualize that in my mind. A memorable run always happens with crazy weather, good or bad, I don’t forget 🙂

  5. The heat makes running tough. Especially if you add humidity. I finally accept how much the heat is going to slow down my pace instead of fighting it every step of the way. I love the runs that are memorable just because they felt amazing for no particular reason.

    Loved reading this!

    1. The humidity is what’s killer here. Runs that feel amazing, though they have seen rare lately, are my absolute favorite – the feeling that I can run on and on with no other worries. Thank you so much, Jill!

  6. I’ve had to remind myself of the heat thing too this summer. I’ll go out for a run and my legs feel dead, I’m tired, and I can barely walk let alone run. I’ve been walking for the first half mile or so of several runs which I used to never happen, but I’m letting myself do it now and I’m feeling better. I’m finally learning to run easy and forget about pace. I’d rather enjoy the scenery and explore new places than obsess over a stupid number.

  7. I’ve been very discouraged by my pace lately. I think the bit of weight I gained in the off season is holding me back, so I’m trying to shred it. That, and the heat! One of my most memorable non-race runs was a 20-miler I did back in November. It was a surprisingly nice day. I put on a book on tape and ran one of my favorite routes. I felt great the entire run and wasn’t even thinking about the long miles. The book was also hysterical, so that really helped!

  8. I’ve definitely been discouraged by my times and paces since my injury, and now with the heat. But I have to remind myself (and anyone that I talk to!) that as long as I am putting in the effort in the right ways, I WILL get better. If I continue to not notice improvement, I need to take a look at what else I can improve on!

  9. Love this Sarah! The temps have been crazyy lately- and the humidity! I love running when it’s 60/70 degrees. I love just being outside and taking my workouts outside too. Being with nature creates so much peace and lots of memories 🙂 Hope you are having a lovely day!

  10. Moving from FL to CO….sea level to altitude, flat to HILLS, road to trails….yes my pace has been frustratingly slow for a few months. But I’m focusing instead on how much fun I’m having trying all these new things and how much stronger I know I will be.

    1. Dang girl, that’s a huge 180. But there is so much fun in exploring new territory, meeting new people, signing up for new races – you’re so right, you will come out stronger mentally and physically!

  11. I’ve just started getting in to trail running, so they’re all memorable on the trails. Each trail is different & it’s amazing how much more difficult it is to run on trails! It’s also usually pretty quiet & I’ve got the whole place to myself.

  12. OH YES, I have had so many times of being discouraged about my pace, when I really wish I could be faster, but I just can’t break the pace ceiling. That’s usually when I take my shoes, put them on, leave my watch behind and just go and run and think. I love to go running especially to just think and pray, or when I’m frustrated or down, so those emotions aren’t taken out on others. I loved this Sarah, because this expanded what running really is. It is so much more than a pace. It’s a peaceful, wonderful time for me to spend meditating and thinking and just being thankful. It often sets the tone for the rest of the day.

    And I LOVE running at night too. The quiet is beautiful.

    1. In the scheme of things, pace matters zilch, zero, nada. It doesn’t matter at all. What matters is that we find joy what we’re doing, we’re challenging ourselves, creating happy feelings, relieving stress, etc. Thanks for sharing, Emily!

  13. I keep a picture of a sunrise run on the background of my computer for this reason. When I am feeling discouraged or need some extra motivation I look at it to remind myself of the amazing feeling I get watching the sunrise as I run.

  14. Runs during travel always stick out to me. I remember a run that I did on the island across from Venice years ago. It wasn’t a fast or amazing run, I just engender the sights &sounds from the run. 🙂

  15. As a past D1 runner, I can relate to this all! Now I only run about 2-3 miles at a time and do more weights..but this morning I actually did get caught in the rain 🙂 It’s definitely what I use as my outlet for when I have a lot on my mind or just want to get out and explore a new city!

    Sarah Grace

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