What. A. Day!
As I packed my workout bag this morning I found myself trying to contain my excitement. It kept rushing out of my mouth as laughs and smiles, out of my body as I danced up the stairs to awake Troy. He didn't find it quite so amusing!
I haven't run the pavement route around Big Lake in .. well .. a real long time. It's something that I have been doing for as long as I've been running. I've taken it for granted. When I don't have time to get to the trail I run around Big Lake, after work. The route I run is the Big Lake 8K course which takes place in June.
42 degrees forecast today. No wind. Sunshine. Amazing.
I placed my run shoes, light run pants, single long sleeved top into my bag. iPod, charger-had to charge up at work-I haven't needed my iPod for quite some time.
During the day I found myself anticipating my run. Would the asphalt hurt? Would I have to stop? Would I love it as much I used to?
Would Troy and the guys have to wait very long for me? Troy and his friends were lifting after school. I drive them home, we meet at the car at 345. I told him it might take me until 4 to finish today's run. He was fine with this and wished me good luck :)
As I clocked out and carried my bag to the restroom I thought of all the prep this took. Packing my bag, charging my iPod, water bottle, hanging up work clothes, changing into run clothes, pack away winter coat, boots, work shoes, put on run shoes. Hair tie. Sunglasses. Haul bag, purse, etc. out to car, leave open for Troy and boys.
OK, lets do this Julie.
Weeeee!!! Off I go. Diggin' it.
Bluebird blue sky, sunshine, no wind. A perfect day. It's winter! This is a perfect day in Spring as well. Running along the road, feeling no pain. No crunch of the discs, no numbing of arm, hand, no tingling in fingers. Oh my gosh. I have missed this so much. This was a part of my day, my being. It just was. Today I prepared and thought about it all day. It will again just be a part of my day.
As I was running I began to think of the first race I ever ran. It was right here. The Big Lake 8K in 1998. Run Club with my dear friend Ann, God bless her soul. She passed of cancer 6 years ago next month. Running with Topaz on these roads when he was a pup, we were waiting for Tyler to take his guitar lessons. Coaching my beginning woman run classes upon this route.
Still no pain, just joy. Joy in running, breathing, seeing, feeling.
As I ran along I saw Heidi! Heidi was in one of the first classes I coached, she continued with a second class and I began to coach her privately. She has since run Ragnar Relay and even Twin Cities Marathon. Heidi is getting back to running after going through chemotherapy and is looking so strong and beautiful. We stopped and chatted. We spoke of how thankful we were to be out running. We get it. We know how the other feels. We know what running means to us. It isn't just running, it is everything than goes with it. It is everything that we almost lost, but it is coming back and we are joyful.
We separated and I just couldn't help but feel this run was just meant to be. I am so very grateful to have experienced it.
I arrived back to the parking lot, to my car. I could see Troy and the boys inside waiting. I wondered how long it took me? I purposely hadn't worn a watch. This wasn't a timed run. This was run to gauge my recovery. I opened the door and Troy said he could see my smile as I turned the corner. I asked him what time it was. 5 minutes earlier than I had anticipated. He asked me if I hurt. No, no pain. He gave me a high five and said "You are back, Mim. You are back".
We dropped off the boys, arrived home. Mexican chicken in the crockpot would hold for another 30 minutes. I took Topaz for a neighborhood spin. 3 miles, more pavement and no pain. I like to think I'm back, too.
Feeling gratitude. Gratitude and Joy.