Friday, June 26, 2015

I'm Gonna Go for a Run

I'm not working today, but still planned on meeting a few of the straggling Crazies for a short run at 4:50 am.  Last night's earth shattering splits and lotus practice stirred up enough energy that I woke at 4:40 with a dull headache that could have turned into a screaming nightmare within seconds.  I opted out of the run, but got out of bed anyway.  I planned to head out a little later for a slow 30 minutes; yesterday's set of hill repeats warranted a lighter workout.
While the Keurig warmed up, I grabbed my work laptop and handled a few items I couldn't wrap up yesterday.  I sat in the darkness, soon enough with a hot cup of coffee, typing away.  I thought of my Dad.  He's always been an earlier riser, using the quiet time to read, meditate, work, whatever.  And here I sat, decades later, mirroring his actions.  Ava, another early riser, got up about an hour later.
I grabbed her a chocolate milk before putting on my run gear.
"I'm gonna go for a run."
Those words echoed in my head as I opened the garage door to the outside world.

I'm gonna go for a run.
I'm gonna go for a run.
I'm gonna go for a run...

With that, I hit the road towards the hospital.
I was thankful for the slower pace even though I knew I could handle more.  For the first few weeks of training, I experienced difficulty in holding myself back when coach asked me to.  I'm now approaching the other side of the seesaw where I need to really cherish the slower paces.  The increased speed workouts will demand more focus and energy.

I'm gonna go for a run.
I'm gonna go for a run.
I'm gonna go for a run...

I came back to that echo picturing myself as a little girl with pigtails hearing those words come from my Father's mouth.  He looked like every other runner in the 80's with his sweat band, cotton gear and New Balance shoes.  I took the short trail to the hospital noting the increased traffic.  Right, it was close to 7 am — change of shift.  If I planned my route accordingly, I'd be hitting the back entrance around the time my Dad would be pulling in.  Just the thought of seeing him in the car and me on the road made me smile.

I rounded the bend back towards my street.  I navigated the awkward four-way stop to continue home.  As planned, I saw Dad's car approaching.  Each with a smile and an enthusiastic wave, we crossed paths.  My heart filled with such joy until it closed in on my lungs and started to squeeze.  I tried to muster a few deep breaths, but I was met with resistance.  This overwhelming force started to crush my chest until I opened my eyes wide.  The tears poured from their corners, bouncing off my cheeks.  I continued running.  My pace picked up while I sobbed audibly.  I can honestly recall the last time I cried like that on a run - September 20, 2011.

I'm gonna go for a run...

The flashback of that memory had a yellow hue with worn edges.  Time will eat through that fragile picture until there's nothing left but dust.

I'm gonna go for a run...

I got back to my driveway at the 30 minute mark, stopped dead in my tracks, bent over and wailed.  I paced in my driveway to pull it together and cool down after the run.  I caught a glimpse of myself in my car window, noticing the lack of pigtails, my developing facial lines and the craters of sadness under my eyes.  I took a few cleansing breaths to bring myself together.
Damn hip opener practice.