The thing about running is, it doesn’t care how long you’ve been gone or why. When you’re ready for it, there it is, unconditionally. That’s what makes this sport so beautiful.
My last run was on September 26 (I checked my training log). At once it’s been ages and the blink of an eye. Mentally and emotionally, I’m in a much different place than I was three months ago. Physically, who knows? I’m not sure what I was expecting when I stepped out the door.
The neighborhood looked the same. The street felt the same. The hills, blessedly, felt more or less the same, maybe because I was moving slowly.
I ran 2.5 miles and periodically checked in with my body to note any suspicious twinges. Nothing dramatic. No red flags, just a few sassy muscles and tendons that remarked, “Whoa, we haven’t done THIS in a while.”
I asked those sassy parts if they’d rather give birth and they got quiet fast.
The weather was placid after several bouts of bitter (for Albuquerque) cold. Sunny, but with enough chill to feel like winter.
And my mind? My mind was calm, almost surreally so. Some runs are a mental KitchenAid mixer, others are a mental whetstone, and others, like this one, are a mental mute button. I had thought I might feel big emotions, think agitated thoughts or ecstatic thoughts or Zen thoughts or any thoughts. But no. Just stillness.
If it sounds like a pretty boring run…it was. And it was heavenly. It was exactly what I needed.
That’s the beauty of running. No matter where you are, what you’re doing, or how you’re doing, there it is, quietly offering a gift you probably never even thought to ask for.
Running’s in it for the long haul. There’s nothing boring about that.
It’s good to be back.