This summer hasn’t been great in terms of my running. Running hasn’t felt good in months, and every time I get myself out there, it felt more like a chore than an activity I enjoyed. Things change, people change, life changes. Was this something that was changing too?
The other day, I did my first pre dawn run of this coming up winter season. The route was a new one. Since moving here, it has taken me awhile to settle down on a solid morning route. This one was what I finally chose, but running it with the sun faintly peeping through the trees is so much different than when it was dark.
This morning I was chasing street lamps.
I wore my reflective vest, grabbed a small flashlight and took off. About a little less than 2 miles in, I was just cresting the last of the uphill climb. I stopped focusing on the road, and the next thing I knew, I was falling, and no way to catch myself. I hit the ground hard. I was stunned, and my front teeth were in enough pain to mask any pain elsewhere. All I was concerned about were my throbbing teeth. They weren’t bleeding, but something wasn’t right. Once I cautiously ran/walked my way back to my building, I stopped at the first mirror I saw in the lobby. I didn’t lose any teeth, but I did chip my front tooth. A great thing to have if you are a single, almost thirty, woman. In the final survey of the damage, I escaped this fall with a chipped tooth, some road rash on my thighs, a small deep cut on my hand and a sore neck and arms. It could have been much worse.
I fell, it happens, but what now?
I was able to get my tooth repaired after work on the same day. A quick and painless procedure. It’s a little rough on the back of the tooth now, and it serves as a little reminder of what happens when I get careless. Thankfully my mother didn’t see the chip, but now she nags me about taking it easy and to only run when it’s light out. With the upcoming winter, that would mean I’d have to put running on the proverbial shelf.
The next day, I decided to attempt another run. This time, back to the basics, no watch, no time goal. I gathered Leeroy and we both set out to finish a run we never completed back in July. It was the hottest day of the year, and overconfidence on my part practically put him in heat stroke.
With the temperature barely at 50 degF this morning, we tried again. It was a slow going as we were both trying to get used to running with each other again. The squirrels were out in force and constantly tempting Leeroy to the point where he forgets his name and just takes off. After pulling, yelling and climbing for a good couple of miles we started coasting downhill, which flattens out and cuts through a wide open field occasionally used for the cows. Today, there were a smattering of cows in the pasture to our right, grazing away. To the left, the field was wide open with a few large trees dotting the perimeter. Behind me the sun was out full force, warming me up after spending all that time under the cool shade of the woods. In front of me, in the cloudless blue sky, was the moon. It was about 9am, and the moon was high in the sky blending softly into the blue. The only sounds I heard were the soft crunch of my feet over the small rocks in the dirt path and Leeroy happily trotting next to me.
I stopped to soak it all in.
For a moment there, I forgot about everything. Everything that was happening, had happened and needed to happen. For a moment, I marveled at the moon, listened to Leeroy’s soft panting through the sound of the breeze through the grass, and soaked in the warmth from the sun. This is why I run, and this is why I will continue to run.
Tomorrow I will buy a headlamp.