Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Running in a Winter Wonderland

We had a snow day here in Eugene that closed down all the schools.  I spent a cozy lazy day at home with the family enjoying the snowy scenery from indoors.  Mid-afternoon I decided that it was time to head outside for my Tuesday run.  Since my injury, I've been sticking with bark chip and dirt trails. I started with just a mile twice a week and over the last couple months have gradually built back up to four mile runs twice a week and six to seven miles once a week.  While races are still a ways off in the future, I am thrilled to be running pain-free and interacting with my fantastic running peeps.  My favorite easy 4 mile loop is on Pre's Trail in Eugene's beautiful Alton Baker Park.

As I pulled into the park, it started snowing again.  There were many runners out on the trail.  We shared hellos, waves, nods and knowing smiles.  Kindred spirits were we running in such chilly conditions in the snow.  I had a lovely solitary run as the snow fell around me.  I let my mind wander and my senses take in the pretty sights from the snow dusted trees,  the ducks and geese swimming in the canal and the golden leaves crunch along on the trail.  I thought about my post-injury return to running and how much more I appreciated the sport now.  It doesn't matter how far or how fast I run.  It's about the joy it brings me and how it allows me to connect with nature.  I thought about how much I was looking forward to my upcoming Thanksgiving morning run with women who I had bonded with over many, many shared miles.  Before I knew it, my run had come to an end. I was re-energized and full of gratitude.

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