I ran 249.7 miles this week. To be honest I think it was more but I don’t have the interest to locate the missing miles on my spreadsheet right now. Thanks to everyone’s donations and sponsorships I was able to take a couple of full and partial days off to run some 40-50 mile days. I ran some with the stroller and am working on fine tuning devices and gear. I have seen quite a bit of wildlife this week with herds of deer lurking on the roadsides, vultures swooping down to check me out and this adorable opossum who came out to say hello. This next week will include some unintentional rest days as I will be attending class and seeing several clients.
I keep getting reactions from people who seem to think that I am amazing. I want to clarify that I am just an ordinary person. I am pretty much the same as you. I am not a super athlete and I do not spring up every morning ready for non stop training. I wake up feeling tired. The mornings come very fast. My first thought is always: It is too cold out to run.
After prying my eyelids open I realize that the sun has started to come up and I have overslept again. My warm blankets and soft pillow promise me that there is no better place to be than in bed. I almost fall back asleep but then I remember that there is food just one room away. I drag myself into the kitchen and slam a few slices in the toaster. The coffee pot starts to gurgle and the computer screen fires up. Hello world! I check the weather. Single digit temps again and bitter cold winds. I think of a dozen fine excuses to not go and run today. The house whispers warm sweet things to me, telling me to not go outside. I forcefully get up and start the process of getting dressed. 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, jacket, gloves, hat, neck warmer. My muscles are stiff from the day before and once I am dressed I feel like a mummy. I slowly very slowly start making my way to the door, dreading the icy burst of air that will hit my sleepy face. The smell of fresh coffee and the thought of wrapping up in the blanket sing out to me like deadly sea sirens. I claw my way out of the house. When I start running I am sore and have aches and pains. I start off slowly adjusting to the cold air which starts to clear out the grogginess. In a matter of minutes I start to feel like I am coming alive. I can hear the birds singing and see the glorious way that the sun is highlighting the frost covered trees. I am in motion. I am on a planet that is also in motion. And I join the movement with the rest of the universe. The more I run, the clearer my thoughts become. I become such a part of the scenery that the animals forget to run away when they see me. I am constantly moving yet every step I take brings me to someplace where I completely belong; but soon I must turn around and go home.
I allow myself one hour in between training runs. When I step back into the house it feels hypnotically warm. I wrestle all of my cold and partially frozen layers off. I grab some food out of the fridge and head into the living room. The couch winks at me and says, “Hey, why don’t you come and spend some time with me?” Powerless I sink into the cushions and slip under the warm blanket. I know that I only have one hour. I also know that I will have to fight for my life to get back out that door again into the cold. But I will. And it will be worth it. Every single time.