My Saturday run happened on Friday. The newspaper called for HOT again; 98 degrees. Yesterday it took until 2 pm to get really hot; now that the front is over us, I knew it would happen a lot faster and boy, was I right.
The real reason my Saturday morning run happened on Friday instead of the coveted Saturday is that we’re going rafting tomorrow! This trip has been on the books for months, and it’s finally here. A friend is an experienced river guide and is taking us on a personal boat ride. The kids have never been rafting, so this will be a trip to remember. He has all the gear we need and all we need to bring is lunch and quick-drying clothes. Check!
Back to the run today; hot, hot, hot. I left the house at 6:30 AM with just my thoughts for entertainment. No Garmin, no iPod, no hat. Luckily I remembered my sunglasses. A girl can’t live without sunglasses, right? I’d be doomed if I ever lost this pair, as it’s my one and only.
Last night was a hard one, and I didn’t sleep well. Plus, it was hot. Plus, I slept wrapped in a blanket next to the wet spot where Connor accidentally peed while snoozing in my bed.
Kirby was dying to go for a walk in the relative coolness of the morning, so we took a leisurely trot around the pond before I headed out for my solo run. She’s twelve now, and not interested in running more than two miles, tops. The grass is super-high along the greenbelt due to City budget cuts, and there’s apparently a wealth of smells to be had now that nothing gets mowed. Our pace was pokey, to say the least.
After dropping her at the house I headed out again. No pep in my legs, I was glad I didn’t have the Garmin. Today was about moving and processing thoughts, not about pace, strength or speed. Today’s run was the epitome of running; for me, and me alone. I savored it.
The loop was one of my usual jaunts, only 4.5 miles. I broke a sweat early because of the heat but didn’t push pace at all. Slow and steady, lost in my thoughts, the first two miles melted away. When I looked up again, I was under a bridge and memories of a heart wrenching conversation that happened yesterday sprang into my consciousness. Tears prickled my eyes and I gasped at the sudden onslaught of emotion. Not stopping was the best thing I could do, so I did it. I kept running.
The intensity of the moment wore off and I snuffled loudly into the stillness. Lost inside my thoughts again, I didn’t notice the scenery. My legs were on autopilot and thankfully they knew where we were going. As I turned up the last street on the way home, another picture from last night played out in my memory. I sat with the emotion while it burst like a volcano through my core, and shuddered when it was spent. I kept running.
Minutes later, I was home. Hot, sweaty and flushed, I felt better after getting out. One kid was awake, one was still zonked out in bed, and the shower was calling sweetly.
Running is one of the best forms of therapy I know of. I can run as hard and fast as I want, and I’ll always be there in the end. I can’t hide from myself when I’m with myself every step of the way. I move through space and emotion equally, ending when I’ve dived ever deeper into the mysteries and complexities that are me.