02 Jan Winter Run Musings
As I start to put my musings into words I question why. Not why I run, why I write. More so, why would anyone want to read what goes through my head while running? Haruki Murakami captured his musings in a memoir ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’. (A good read) The answer: perhaps someone reading may find a spark of inspiration to start or to continue their own fitness journey. It’s about running; it’s also about life.
Dark start (that equals early). Snow-covered roads and trails (where I am the roads are our sidewalks and trails connect roads). Strong SW winds (didn’t need the weather alerts to let me know that the best route was away from the lake in the more sheltered areas). Cold (that’s what the thermometer indicated but dressed in proper gear I was comfortably warm, even my hands. Bonus).
I was running for fitness–physical and mental–a combination that kickstarts my day in a positive way. My body was running in the ‘present’, yet my mind felt like I was watching a movie of voices and images ‘past’. It started with putting on my gear, inner voice suggesting that I really didn’t need to go out’. Suddenly I visualized the image of my sister dressing in her early morning walking gear. Every day, no matter the weather, she heads out the door for her early morning walk on the country roads. She can; I can. (Genetics likely at play here.)
Now and then, voices of runners with whom I’ve spent countless hours on long marathon-training runs, would speak. I recalled the poems, limericks, and jokes they used to keep everyone entertained. Stories of race adventures were excellent distractions, the longer the better. (Like fish stories these get better with time.)
Words of inspiration from coaches reminded me to dwell in the moment. Focus on breathing, rhythm, and of course, proper form. I heard the friend who always says ‘Good job’. Or, perhaps when I would be struggling up a snow-covered slope, they would yell, ‘Linda, up here NOW!’. How could I forget that bit of encouragement? I heard the words of a former student, who today continues to be one of my biggest cheerleaders. (Everyone needs at least one, cheerleader that is.)
Before long, the 8K run was done. People ask: Do you run alone? I say: Physically? Yes. Mentally? Not a chance. The voices and images are not imaginary friends. They are real family, real friends, real coaches, real people. I am grateful for each one. So, perhaps, I’ll call that an ‘8K Grateful Run’.
Happy New Year, Thanks for reading, ~Linda
Photo: D Munro