If I could rewrite this, the morning would have been different.
The stars aligned.
The heavens opened.
The birds flew from under my feet.
I ran so hard that day - slow, but hard.
I gifted myself a challenge. I had not run a trail since Quadzilla in July. I missed getting lost like that. The previous day, I made an impulse purchase on a pair of Brooks trail shoes. After Quadzilla, my shoes (4 years old) were so trashed that I had no choice, but to throw them away — a bitter sweet moment.
It's not easy during the climbs; my pace drops dramatically. I eventually find peace in the scenery and the sounds of my feet shuffling through the freshly fallen foliage. This scene is all too dangerous considering what could lurk beneath the beauty — symbolism that kicks me in the face. I wanted to fall, badly to get over that fear, but my will refused to let that happen. I got high after the 1st mile; the blue skies pulsated beyond the towering trees. I swear I lost my eyesight for some time. The tunnel vision was incredible. That place lets me focus on nothing but the placement of my feet. She listens without judgement. She welcomes me with open arms every time.
I stopped half way to rest my weary head on an inviting rock, jutting over the creek. I looked up at the sky, vibrating pockets of blue tickled by the tops of the trees. I looked behind me, dropping my head back, lifting my heart high in matsyasana (fish pose). I breathed with my eyes soaking in the fresh air and crisp water.
Staying mindful to the run, I picked myself back up to carry on. I climbed the ridge, cresting at an opening, overlooking the city.
I paused here for a few reflective breaths before slinking back into the trees. The remainder of the trail steadily drops which permits me to open my stride, picking up the pace. I returned to the start, stopping at my car for a swig of water before taking the trail unknown to me.
The path supported my increasing speed. I rounded the corner headed south. The enclosed space poured onto a side street, reconnected by a boardwalk. I hit the planks with such force, rattling the earth below. I picked up the pace flying over the structure. With each foot strike, startled birds escaped from their shelter. I ran harder. Like the parting of the seas, birds flew from both sides of the planks giving me the illusion that they were lifting me up. I ran harder.
I believed I could go faster. So, I did and I will.