Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

On the road again.

I actually had to search for one of my running shoes yesterday morning.

I’ve worn them once or twice since the marathon, but only in a “running errands” sense, and not for actual, you know – running. But with today marking four weeks beyond the finish line of my seventeen Saturdays, I felt like it was time to get out there again.

One shoe was in the closet – where it belonged – but the other had snuck under my side of the bed.

So just before 7:30 a.m., on a bright and clear morning with the air just over 40 degrees, I headed out the front door for my first run in a month.

And it felt kind of strange, going out with no stopwatch and no real goal in mind. Sunday, May 31 – more than five months ago – was the last day I went out for an unplanned run that wasn’t a number to be crossed out on a training chart.

I covered 3.56 miles on a well-worn loop through a nearby housing development, past some fields, and up a hill I really, really hated on more than one morning.

Most of the trees have gone bare since the last time I ran, although there were still a few stretches of maples with bright red leaves standing out in the muted morning. There are still a few unharvested cornfields, too, acres and acres of stalks and leaves the color of old book pages rattling over hilsides and along the woods’ edge.

I have trouble figuring out why I run.

I don’t think it’s the sport or the action itself, though the journey wouldn’t be the same if, say, I walked or biked. I could see the same sights, hear the same sounds, smell the same air, and though all of those are also part of why I do it, none of them are the reason, either. I love the way my mind wanders and refocuses and explores and, yes, gets bored, too, but again, it behaves similarly when I’m driving with the windows down or mowing the lawn or sitting in our back room listening to the rain. It’s never the same, though, as when I’m running.

There’s a quote I often use about writing that I sometimes think fits my running habits, too. It’s attributed to screenwriter Michael Kanin: “I don’t like to write, but I love to have written.”

It’s kind of like that: I haven’t enjoyed every run I’ve ever taken, but I have always been glad I put the shoes on and hit the road that day.


November 8, 2009 - Posted by | Ohio, running, Sports, writing | , , , ,

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