Yesterday I got up at 7:00 AM and decided I would go for a run. I had been thinking and trying to decide over the past couple of days to run first thing in the morning or to run home (5-miles) from my parent’s home after we finished dinner. I’m not much of an afternoon runner. The afternoon does not afford me the solitude which I seek from a run. I don’t have any running partner primarily because my work schedule doesn’t allow much flexibility. I run early or I don’t run. It’s tough to find someone to run with at 5 AM. Interestingly enough, when I do run in the afternoon my companions are the cars as they drive by and the various individuals who I met walking a similar route.
I laced on my running shoes, grabbed a light jacket, and a slice of toast and I was off. I clicked off the miles with relative ease. My thoughts and vision became lost as I ran along the upper Niagara River. There was no breeze so the surface of the water resembled a plane of glass…smooth. There was barely a ripple. This was a far cry from the weather the day before when I fought a headwind the majority of the route, my hat becoming dislodged twice as if a great hand reached down, tore the hat from my head and threw it behind me as if in a cruel game of “Go fetch.”
When I reached the 3.5 mile mark I decided to extend the route. I felt good. The weather was alright; gray skies with a little bit of sun peeking through the clouds. Honestly it was the sun peeking through the clouds which kept me going.
As my running route took me away from the river and onto the surface streets of the city where I reside, I noticed my mood changing. The blacktop streets filled with watery pot holes; remnants from the winter which many say is continuing to haunt us even as we are on the verge of beginning the month of May. My emotional energy was draining. I glanced at my watch and saw my pace had decreased by a full 15-seconds. I glanced again to make sure I was seeing my pace correctly. There was no denying it. My thoughts drew toward nothing more than getting home. I felt my gait become sloppy and a slight pain forming on the interior of my right leg. I know this pain well and I chose to listen to it. I checked my footfall, made a quick adjustment and before I knew it the pain had evaporated. Before I realized another half mile had also evaporated. My mood lightened briefly and I decided to zig and zag on the last portion of this run extending it to a full 6.5 miles.
When I arrived home a cold bottle of water, juice and the Sunday paper awaited my return. For this I was grateful. I was grateful also for the run and for my opportunity and ability to run