It’s been a long time…..too long. A couple of false starts over the last few weeks. A few half-hearted attempts at an evening run. I am realizing that now, at 43, I am not going to be able to take breaks and expect to bounce right back. I am embracing the fact that running is a way of life. No breaks allowed, at least not for months on end.
This morning I met Leah for an early morning run. The beauty of running early in the morning is never lost on me. It is my absolute favorite time to run. We picked the track close to work and did an easy slow 3 miler. Not too hard, just enough work to break out in a full on sweat.
The late June heat is already all around us, and the first few deep breaths seem to stifle us. Track running is not my favorite, but I do like the pattern of clicking off the laps and mentally calculating my mileage as I go. I start listening to an easy groove with Journey. By the second lap I am lost in thought and spend the next mile sorting out a variety of problems, from a patient that I am still worried about, to whether the girls will remember to fold the laundry in the dryer. The round and round pattern of the track requires less attention than the street. With no dogs or cars to watch for I am allowed the leisure of losing myself in my own private world.
Now the sun comes up bright and the wet ground sparkles like a million diamonds. I smile because I know I am rich. Richer than if those diamonds were real. I think about what I have, and what I need. Everything….and nothing.
About the time my right hip begins a subtle ache, I see Leah waiting on me. We decide to stretch, both of us dreading the muscle aches that will remind us we have not been running every day.
And I decide that this marathon I’m training for will not just be a ,”see if I can get through it” run. I’ve been there, done that. It was not fun to mearly get through. So lying on my back, with my right ankle crossed over my left knee and drawn up to my chest, I think while I stretch. I tell Leah my goals:
1. I will finish in less than 5.
2. I will try to run the whole thing (water stops don’t count)
She listens and smiles. She’s heard this before, but she knows I need to say it, again and again.
The early morning run is over. Checked off my list of things to do today and somehow it makes the other half a million things on a that list a little more manageable.