Yesterday, I braved the ice and snow to run outside. It was a cold morning but I knew that if I could get a half mile out, I could run on the clear road. I tip toed through the snow in a precarious run, remembering other icy jogs I’ve had with friends in the past. It made me smile inside to think of those times along the way… hopping over patches of ice, delicately prancing over the flattened snow ahead of me. It’s impossible to obsess about your pace or time when your main concern is not falling on your butt.
Speaking of butt, I had forgotten what running on snow feels like to that area and your calves. Yowza! The first mile was the wost. The cold bit at me, making it hard to find my breathe but after the second hill, it started to come together. It started to feel good. I felt stronger than the wind that was blowing in my face. I forgot about the fact that I had to pee and the creepy old truck that had swerved my way even though I was on the sidewalk (jerk). I was simply in the run.
Up ahead, I saw another runner dash around a curve and start running the same direction as I was. It lifted me up and that familiar feeling filled me. The one that comes from the comrodery of running the roads together. For a minute I forgot I was in this journey of becoming a runner again. For a minute I felt like I was a runner. Just like old times. It felt so good.
As he ran ahead, it didn’t matter that he was faster than me. Someone will always be faster than me. It didn’t matter that he had a perfect, graceful form while I’m sure I looked more like an injured seal. I didn’t care that he looked more the runner than I did at this exact moment. All that mattered was that I was there too. I was out there running.
The thing about running is you never know when you’ll have that great run, the one that makes you want to do it again. There’s no giant neon sign to let you know THIS IS IT! THIS IS YOUR AWESOME RUN! Chances are you’ll have to talk yourself into getting out the door right beforehand and you might not feel like running at all that day. I certainly didn’t expect it that cold, grey February morning but there it was. My run! Sadly, I would have missed it if I hadn’t given it a shot.
The runner ahead of me had reached his turn around point and as he headed back, he passed me. We gave each other a quick wave and he disappeared from my view. I plodded through the snow alone again but my feet felt lighter than before. That effervescent feeling of a great run pressing me on.