My alarm started dinging at 5:00 a.m. this morning. I so wanted to sleep, even though I was having a crazy dream about my friend Julie’s family. I don’t remember the particulars, but I was trying to find her and her brother, but to reach them, I had to engage with lots of creepy figures claiming to be their family. The eeriness of that dream may be the biggest reason I didn’t close my eyes and go back to sleep. I thought about it though. I absolutely could have slept another couple of hours.
Last week, we felt the first real blasts of Texas summer. Each run felt like we were plodding along, just barely. And each run left us soaked and miserable. This morning was better though. It wasn’t cool, but the air was not nearly as heavy. I felt light on my feet, maybe because I took yesterday off after two days of biking. I don’t know, but I liked that light feeling. I like my recovery runs to feel relatively easy, as this morning’s run did.
My Tuesday/Thursday group consists of four women. Today, all four of us made it. Sometimes one or more can’t be there because of work or kid duties or oversleeping or just tiredness, but today, the band was back together, and we had a nice time. I didn’t say much, but I enjoyed the voices around me. They are the soundtrack to my runs. If only I could record them and take them with me for my races.
I remember a time when I dreaded running. I did it as a necessary part of tennis or triathlon, but I didn’t enjoy it. Now I do. I like the effort. I look forward to the conversation and sometimes even to the alone time. I like covering ground. Overall, I prefer winter running, but there is something deeply satisfying about wiping sweat off my brow with the sleeve of a drenched running top, removing the top, and feeling the weight of the wetness of that top in my hand. It’s like I’ve emptied myself of something and bettered myself as a result.
These days, I like running as much as, if not more than, having run. Even in the summer.