Sunday, August 19, 2012

Enjoy the now

Day 13 -- Aug. 19, 2012

Today I'm 191.8 pounds of rolling thunder.

This summer's drought has made the leaves start to shed their leaves early and the mix of milder temperatures and preseason football have made it feel a little more like autumn than mid-August.

But this has been a good respite for runners after the beastly 100-plus degree days of the summer. I'm thankful for these days when the air is clear, the temps are down and the cicadas are a constant reminder that fall is not far away.

Early mornings are already starting to feel a little cooler and you can feel the days growing shorter as the kids start heading back to school and fall practices.

My hamstrings felt like piano wires when I stepped outside for my run yesterday. I know it's a combination of fatigue, hill climbing and extended time sitting in front of a computer that bring about this malady. Some days you just need those first few steps out the door to get things going and the juices flowing.

Most weekend days my runs are sandwiched between work sessions, so they last about 45 minutes. Yesterday was a new conquest. I ran some flats and then turned up a tree-lined neighborhood street and headed up a long, steep hill that I'd never completed before on a run. 

I had run/walked the hill many times, but this time I was determined to make it to the top. Now average weekend warriors probably have no problem with this hill, but being the world's slowest human it could have been my Everest.

I started up the hill and felt my lungs working harder. My pace dropped and my chest pounded, but I was determined to keep going. 

I chopped my step and lowered my gait and focused on steady, easy breaths. I picked out milestones along the way. Make it to the mail box. To the stop sign. To the next driveway. And pretty soon I was back on flat ground.

I turned the corner, jogged to the bottom of the hill and took the long way home enjoying the coolness of the air, the crunching of leaves under my feet and being in the moment. And by the time I got home, I didn't even remember those piano wires.

So if you see the world's slowest human out on the road today, give me a wave and join me in the moment.


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