I went for a run this morning, not bothering to watch the clock, just wanting to get out there and do something more than the four I ran a couple days ago. I found myself kind of missing the days when I was following a training schedule, and Saturday mornings meant long runs near sunrise.
I also missed the confidence that came with them, and being able to think, for instance, “Only seven today.” I haven’t done a double-digit run since the Towpath Marathon last October, and in fact, I hadn’t run more than five-and-a-half at a time this year at all.
Maybe it’s because I just finished reading Ethan Gilsdorf’s Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks this morning – it deserves a full-on write-up of its own, so that’s coming next week – but I felt like I was in a questing mood, so I headed out with a six-miler in mind. (Again, it was a bit disheartening to realize that such a distance had once again become a step up.)
Perfect morning for it, too: overcast and getting warm, but a little bit of a breeze to keep things comfortable. I forgot how much I missed running this time of day – yes, it was 9 a.m., a good two to three hours later than I used to run, but the clouds and the calm sort of preserved an earlier-morning feel.
A couple miles in, I took an extra side-trek through a loop I hadn’t run in a long time, and at roughly the halfway point, I faced the “commit-to-six-miles-or-bail-early-here” fork in the road. At least I didn’t hesitate, although heading up the climb that marked the turning point, I second-guessed myself for just a minute.
In mile four, I jogged past an elderly woman who was walking her little dog. She looked at me with a smile and said, “I wish I could do that.” And I hope very much, I thought, that someday I am lucky enough to be out walking on a Saturday morning and sharing pleasantries with a passing someone who could be my grandchild.
It was that kind of morning, that kind of run – turned out to be a 6.25-miler – when I thought a lot about where things are going and where I want them to be, even while I was enjoying right where I was, hills and pains and all.
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