I really needed to run.
My mom and I were sitting together Sunday morning before she went to church. I was quiet like I always am and she worried like she always does. It’s what mammas do. She keeps a post-race marathon picture of me on her refrigerator. I looked so young.
I telegraphed her a message, “Don’t worry about me. I just need to go for a run.”
So, I went for a run.
No big deal really. Just an easy two-miler that led me down the country roads I grew up on. One foot after another led me over the hill and down to the northeast corner of my dad’s milo field. There were no sounds except for measured breathing, the flutter of ruffled quail feathers and the crunch of gravel and snow bearing the brunt of heavy footfalls.
My brain was full of opinions and self-righteous instructions.
You should be a better: daughter/mother/wife/sister/friend.
People need to know you love and appreciate them. Why are you so detached?
I just kept running.
Even though I had knee surgery eight weeks ago, I ran with a limp and resembled a lame, old racehorse who needed a pasture more than the track it pined for. My knee was (is) shot.
But, I ran anyway.
Peace permeated my pores and pushed the pain aside. Good ole gratitude kicked the monkeys and ducks and unherdable cats out of my brain. With each breath and passed telephone pole, I started to feel something familiar and friendly. I felt…
I had forgotten how much I relied on running to keep me sane, easy-going and grounded. I’ve run most of my life – childhood and adult – and not doing so for several weeks had thrown me out of kilter. Most days started with laced up shoes, pounded pavement and solved problems even before the e-mails filed in. Problems accumulate with or without a run, but my ability to deal with them in a healthy way had diminished with each day I was unable to get out and do so.
So, I’m going to run smart.
It won’t be very far or very long and my goals will be simple: 3-5 miles and walk whenever I need to. Christy is keeping me inspired by sharing her training accomplishments AND she even made me my own Spotify running playlist: “Michelle’s Bringing Sexy Back” 2015 run mix. You can catch a sample of it below.
I’m going to run as much as I can.
There will be no PR races, no crazy training schedules or twenty-mile runs before daylight. No more marathons and my goal of running a sub-two hour half belongs to somebody else.
I’ll spend my time on soft, scenic trails with my dog and will run only for the right reasons: To calm the brain, to fill my lungs with air, to solve problems…
and stay grounded.
For me, 2015 will be about getting back to the basics, loving the people who love me and just being a better person. I have “my word” picked out for 2015 and I plan to share it next Monday. In the meantime, I hope that you are finding your own center in a world filled with swirling priorities. These times can drag us in too many directions and leave us feeling inadequate and detached. Let’s fix these little things the best we can. For me, it’s as simple as throwing on an extra layer, tying the laces and grabbing the dog leash.
I’ve hit the ground running.