Running to the top of a rolling hill

This morning’s run didn’t take me as far as I wanted it to. In other words, I had to walk part of it. At first this was a huge disappointment, but I soon realized it was better to walk than run through the agony.

When I started out I had a respectable pace, but a clumsy, achy, tired gait. I couldn’t get my groove after a busy weekend full of highs. It didn’t help that I was running along a road less traveled.

Irregardless I pushed on, my eyes set on a goal — a friend’s mailbox, a ten or 12 minute run away that would serve as a turnaround point back to my mom’s mailbox where I started.

I started cramping up. I knew I was fatigued after not a lot of sleep over the past few days, but I also worried about how little time I gave myself to digest the tuna salad sandwich I had eaten. I also felt dehydrated from the hot weather and not drinking enough water this morning. Too much coffee.

I pushed on. No pain, no gain.

As I grew increasingly doubtful that I should keep running, I continued. I knew I could make it no matter how grueling, but then I asked myself, For what? Who is out her to judge and isn’t that I even laced up my running shoes at all this morning enough?

I thought about the highs of the weekend and the crash I started feeling last night and into the morning. I ran to the tip-top of a rolling hill I came to. When I got to the top I gave myself permission to walk as I assessed my surroundings. A beautiful summer day on a back road in rural Pennsylvania. I was surrounded by lush green trees, fields, and a wide open sky.

Walking, I settled into a new perspective as I slowly trotted down the rolling hill. I controlled my pace and reminded myself I didn’t have to run down the hill and crash, only to start sprinting up the next hill.

When I made it to my friends mailbox I was even more in tune with my surroundings, admiring her thriving garden. I felt accomplished as I turned around. I even picked up my pace to a slow jog. I picked out a road sign ahead and told myself that once I reached the sign, I could walk again.

I reached the sign. I reached my goal.

I walked. I felt good.

The rest of my run, gone walk turned into a series of starts & stops, jogging & walking, running & sprinting.

I felt even better.

During my last sprint my gait was powerful and strong. I no longer felt fatigued or crashed out from the weekend. At the same time I didn’t feel like I was flying high.

I was just right.



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