Following Cotton Row on Monday, this week has been a tough one as far as running goes. My legs (and the rest of me too, for that matter) have been plum worn out. Tuesday I managed 6 miles with the girls, and I don't think I would have made it without Madelyn chatting with me the entire way. Wednesday, which also happened to be National Running Day, I slept in. That left me with a 97 degree 3 mile run for my celebration of the day. I tried to take it slow so I could go further, but by mile 3 the heat was insane so I called it there. I had planned to get on my bike after that but chose dinner (and air conditioning) instead.
This morning, however, I felt ready for a run. I was planning to run the Run Through the Roses 10k course with the girls, and had suggested meeting half a mile away from the actual start so we could get in an extra mile. No one seemed game for this plan, but I decided to do it anyway. I started at 5:00 am, and caught up to them a little over a mile into the run. I ran the course with them, and then decided to add a bit more before I got back to my car. Despite the 75 degree humidity, I felt really good so I decided to take advantage of that. If my legs were actually going to show up ready to run, I was going to run them!
There is also that feeling when I am running solo that I have written about before - the feeling of wanting to hold onto that morning magic. The peacefulness, the beauty of the sunrise, the sweat, the hills, the animals out and about. On this morning run I saw 7 bunnies and 1 hawk, along with countless birds and squirrels as well. I ran my legs for a good 10 miles before returning to my car. I was soaked, but it was great. I had a cool cup of water waiting on me, and I drank most of it before I got home.
I don't know what it is about a good morning run... I think it is the time of day when nothing and no one can claim my time and attention. It is just for me. And it is the time when I feel the most like myself. I'm left alone with my thoughts and the road ahead. While I am out there, the things that might bother me during the day dissipate and don't seem so important. The words and thoughts and noise of the day have not yet crowded in, and my mind is fresh and open and free.
I was grateful that my legs showed up this morning, allowing me to enjoy all of that a bit longer than usual. For a little over an hour and a half it was just me and the open road ahead, letting me travel wherever my legs would carry me. I love that.