Good heavens; did you run or walk or do anything outside today? Glorious, absolutely glorious.
Sunday’s my long run day, so I had a distance in mind when my alarm went off and my feet hit the floor. I wore capris (hooray!), a long-sleeved shirt, Mizuno Warmalite Headband (which I knew I looked weird in, but oh well), and my trusty Saucony Cohesions.
I left the house at 6:20 a.m., while stars still lingered and the sun waited in the wings. I circled my block a time or two, then the next one, and did an elongated Figure 8 course over a few more. I don’t have a particular route for any certain distance; I just go where my shoes and my mood take me.
The sun started to rise and the stars to disappear. I ran up and down a hill I hadn’t been on in awhile, around a certain park a time or two. I saw a trio playing tennis; watched a woman in a white robe carry a mug of coffee onto her side patio and sit down with the newspaper (something which, as someone who writes for that fine publication, I was especially grateful to see).
It was one of those mornings, one of those runs, that I wanted to go forever. They’re not all like that, of course; I never know when I step out the door what course they’ll take any more than I know the direction I’ll head. So when I’m lucky enough to have one like this, I vow to remember it when my feet are a little more faltering. Meanwhile, as I watch and listen to the world wake up, I want to cling to these moments, to these feelings, as long as I possibly can.
Alas though, long-run day is, as I’ve mentioned, Sunday, a day that happens to coincide with church. As I sat in the chapel service (having arrived only 10 minutes late instead of my sometimes-15), I saw a red and blue stripe on a column in front of me — a reflection of the sun streaming through a stained-glass window.
It reminded me all over again about the lure, about the power, about the promise of forever. And for that, and for runs that we don’t want to ever end, The Grateful Runner says thank you.