With legs still sore from Friday’s hot yoga and yesterday’s slow but long run, I gathered myself up this morning and ran a solo 5k race. Not a virtual race, no registration or home-computer-printed-out bib — just me wanting to dig down and reach up.
I was inspired by the recent Olympic Track & Field Trials, and by this morning’s Peachtree 10k Championships in Atlanta. I was inspired by women like Sara Hall and Stephanie Bruce and Aliphine Tuliamuk, who are phenomenal runners and also mothers.
I was inspired, to put a spin on it, by the truth that in day-to-day motherhood and marriage there is a whole lot of restraint, and quite frankly one gets really sick of that and occasionally just needs to let…the wild animal…OUT.
So I did that, opting for a route that’s primarily uphill for the first half and primarily downhill for the second. It was hard. My hamstrings, quads, back, lungs, and eventually the whole organism protested. Indignantly.
But it was good.
A pair of coyotes paused their hunt for breakfast to study me from the edge of the path. A cyclist cheered me on; I can’t remember what she said but I appreciated it and grunt-laughed in response.
Other than that, it was me and the birds, and God, and the effort.