My day started while it’s still dark. It usually does actually, but today even my later 6AM wake up was cloaked in a darkness I associate with fall running. This morning I had it in my mind to try for 10 miles. If my foot hurt, I would stop, but outside of that, 10 was the goal.
I can remember a time when 10 flat miles was cake. Ironically, during that time I questioned whether 10 miles was enough. Could I do more? Push harder? Is this right?
This morning, I felt no pressure to conform to that. I gave myself grace and acknowledged that this running thing is hard. Building fitness is a huge challenge. But it’s also my favorite part.
The first few miles are uneventful as my body wakes up and it’s still too dark to notice the beauty of my small town. I make it through Stewart Park and pass the college rowers warming up. I wonder what it would be like to be strong like that. I am strong too, but in a different way. I run over the two bridges, one is so wobbly I think about come winter if I’ll slip this year like the two previous.
I make it over the four lane highway and to my turn at Buffalo street and wonder if I’ll make it to 10 miles. I’m at mile 4 and I can feel my fitness, or lack there of. I start getting into the podcast I’m listening to about cultivating a side hustle. Sweet Jesus I don’t have time for that right now, but it’s a great concept. My sister makes beautiful signs out of restored wood, I should encourage her to listen to this podcast, she has a side hustle.
I get to Cass Park and make it to the bathroom just in time to take my characteristic mid-run poop. I’ve tried to stop going outside if I can avoid it because you never know if you’ll show up in the news. Is my backside cute enough for Good Morning America? I don’t want to find out. Kim K already has made her ass into her side hustle so I think I have big competition (pun intended).
I get to the turn around point and have a choice to make. Keep going home and end at 8 miles or do another loop of Cass and get to 10. I am questioning how my foot feels (fine) and how my fitness is (not great). I decide to try. Slow and steady, just move forward, get to the rink, get to the boats, back to the bridge, back on Buffalo. Now the straight away down to my end point, my work, to CTB for coffee and a cool down.
I made it. I stop my watch, almost 10. 9.9. Good enough. Cool down routine using the tree outside, get a coffee (half hazelnut , half love buzz) and walk a half mile home.
I did it. It was hard. It was humbling. It was fucking beautiful.