Laced up for runs

The Compass - - Editorial -

When I open the door on a frigid Fe­bru­ary morn­ing to check the run­ning weather, I im­me­di­ately close it again.

“Oh, way too cold this morn­ing,” I think to my­self. “I’ll run to­mor­row morn­ing. It’s sup­posed to be a lot warmer.”

Then I put­ter around the house do­ing the usual triv­ial chores that seem to re­peat them­selves each day. I find my­self glanc­ing through the win­dow to see just ex­actly how much the wind is blow­ing against the trees. Doesn’t seem to be quite as bad as I thought. Maybe if I just laced up and did a quick cou­ple of kilo­me­tres it wouldn’t be that cold. 15, 20 min­utes tops.

With­out hes­i­ta­tion, I scram­ble to find my Garmin, run­ning hat, two pairs of gloves, win­ter hoodie, ther­mal run­ning pants, and re­flec­tive run­ning coat. Lace up the sneak­ers and away I go.

The first part of my run is al­ways the hard­est. The stiff­ness of overnight and mid­dle age has pre­sented them­selves well this morn­ing. I con­tinue my usual route know­ing ex­actly where the in­clines and slight grades are. Once I get past these, the neg­a­tive thoughts start to leave my head. I think to my­self that it’s not as bad as I imag­ined. Maybe five kilo­me­tres might be doable.

My run brings me to the usual thoughts, sched­ules, and yes even prayers that keep me com­pany each time. There is al­ways some­one on the list. Oc­ca­sion­ally I even pray for my­self.

This is a time I also like to give thanks. Thanks for the strength to be able to run at my age, thanks for the good life I have and thanks for great fam­ily and friends.

By the time I reach what had planned to be my re­turn, I have worked up a good sweat. The morn­ing sun has bro­ken through the hori­zon and the dogs are start­ing their usual good morn­ing song. I check the watch and re­al­ize that I have time to push through an­other cou­ple of kilo­me­tres. I need that bit of hill train­ing any­way.

Once I crest the hill, it’s smooth sail­ing from here on in. The two kilo­me­tres I in­tended will mag­i­cally turn into eight. Time to turn around.

The route back to the be­gin­ning is al­ways glo­ri­ous. You know that in 20 to 25 min­utes, you will feel the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of your run. A quick shower, a sip of wa­ter and off to work for an­other day.

Run­ning has been a ma­jor part of my life for years. It helps me think. It is where I do my best plan­ning. It is my time to be alone. A time to give thanks, and re­flect. It is my time to cry and my time to laugh. It is my time to plead. It is the place I go to rid my­self from anger. It is the place I go to rid my­self of anx­i­ety.

All these emo­tions have ac­com­pa­nied me on the cold and brisk morn­ings as well as the hot and hu­mid morn­ings. Life takes you on many paths. Run­ning also has taken me on many paths. The friends I have made and the ex­pe­ri­ences I have had will stay in my heart hope­fully un­til I fin­ish the race.

Run­ning has been a ma­jor part of my life for years. It helps me think. It is where I do my best plan­ning. It is my time to be alone.

Peggy Doyle writes from Gull Is­land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.