I was excited about today’s run for the pure physicality of it, not to mention the social hour (or two!) of coffee with the ladies afterwards. I’ve felt isolated from my peeps these past few weeks after helping my Mom through a health crisis (read Thursday Update from the Hospital for the full story), and I really, REALLY needed to reconnect.
As I was drifting out of dreamland this morning I had a bizarre dream about a bathroom and an eggplant-shaped porcupine. While sitting on the toilet in the elementary school bathroom a cat walked under the stall door, only it wasn’t furry; it was purple with a stem for a head. I cooed at it and reached out my hand to stroke its purple furless body, but it turned its tail to me and shot quills into my eyelid and cheek. I wasn’t upset about it, just went off in search of scissors to cut the ends of the quills to release the barb so I could pull them out without tearing my eyelid. Then I woke up, groggy and ready to run.
I got to the trailhead with 10 minutes to spare. After my crazy dream I wasn’t interested in dozing in bed! The Front Range was spared from the 2-5 inches of snow that was predicted, so instead of running through a few inches of fresh powder and ice, we got 40 degrees of pure mud and pools of water. Yay!
Heading onto the trail a friend asked about my Mom, and I guess I still needed to talk about the whole thing because my mouth was off and running and didn’t stop for a good 30 minutes. (Sorry, friends…) It felt good to vent, and by the time we touched the gate I had it out of my system. On the return trip I picked up a little speed and dropped to a 7:30 pace (the “out” was at a 10 minute pace) after clearing the bridge with the ice ruts. Now that I wasn’t spouting my mouth I used the oxygen to fuel my lungs.
The air felt good and clear, and even had a touch of warmth in it! Water is dripping from the eaves, baby cows are mooing in the fields, baby mice are in the compost heap and my kids need haircuts. Spring is here.
After crossing over South Boulder Road I ran into Kathy, walking the last mile. She’s frustrated that she still can’t run after hurting her knee 10 weeks ago. She tried running today and did a run/walk thing, but had to stop because of the pain. I walked with her, and stretched out my groin and hip flexors. Oof!! After 2 gym workouts this week and some great weight training, the fast walking was a cure-all for the aches that ail me in the downstairs region.
We passed a few people on the trail, and one woman in particular sticks out in my mind. She was headed to the gate as we were coming back, probably running at a good 6:30-7:00 minute/mile clip, all by herself. Her stride was long and controlled, and her face looked focused but serene. The thought struck me; I wonder what I look like, right about now? Do I look tired, like I’m struggling, like my body is injured or sore, like I’m having the time of my life, or like I’m hungry for more? Do I look like I have it in me to push hard for 6 miles and reel it in through the mud and muck of Bobolink?
Spring always feels like a car that’s revved up, just waiting to be released. Okay, maybe that’s just how I always feel, like I’m sitting at a stoplight in a killer Beemer with all that power at my fingertips and I’m just itching to let it out and fly down the road with the wind streaming through my hair. Running is good for times like this, when I can push my body hard and get the itchiness out. It’s windy, muddy, sunny, snowy, grey and cloudy and warm and clear, all in the same week. It’s the Earth coming back to life and I’m ready to fly far and fast.
The girl made it back to the trailhead just as I was getting into my car. Her pace still looked strong and even, and she pulled out of the lot right in front of me. She looked as strong as I felt a few weeks ago, and have since lost. Worrying about a loved one spiraled me out of my center and landed me somewhere in Oz. I need to get back to that core feeling of strength, of being able to trust that my body and spirit can rise to the occasion. Spring is here; maybe soon I’ll get back home again.