Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Run and the Stretch

Last nights run almost didn't happen.  I was feeling digestively challenged and could have skipped it without being truly just lazy... but I also knew that I had to get the miles in.  I already had missed my scheduled 2 miler on Monday and this weekends longer run is going to be hard to fit in as it is.   My Tuesday and Thursday runs have to happen and be an extra mile longer than planned.  I'm on a training calendar working towards another half marathon in November.  It's important to me that I don't get off course; especially since I'm not back to where I was in past years training.   So ... tummy rumblings aside; I got myself out on the road right around 6:30.

I made the choice to run without headphones this time, which was a little unusual for me on a longer run.  I followed one of my fairly regular and favorite 6 mile loops that goes around the city on my end of town,  along the trail by the river and through the park and then up Chesapeake Street and back up through the center of town.   It was a nice change to run and enjoy the peace.  I was able to reflect and pray with only the sounds of the cars, crickets, river and my heartbeat to keep time to.   I was racing the sunset so I also had the motivation to at least get out of the park and up the hill to Queen Street before dark.   I found that I ran a bit more consistently and for longer stretches without feeling it, though there were plenty of forced pauses/stops at stoplights downtown between miles 4 and 5.

It was amazing to me that after feeling so yucky all day; I was even physically capable to get out there for this one.  In actuality,  I felt better while out there.   Two moments caused me to pause and catch my breath for a moment due to feeling a bit sick,  but otherwise it was the best I have felt in a couple of days.  Strange that I felt better running than I do event right now or last night when I was trying to sleep. 

So many times I put my perceived comfort before what is actually the better choice.   More often than not, I am finding that the best moments are the ones just beyond my own expectations, involve pushing through the pain and silencing distractions.  Moments like these are reachable, but sometimes I need to stretch for them. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Smelling the Everything While Getting Where I'm Going

I've been doing a lot of pet sitting lately and loving it.   Pet sitting is s fun for a while because I get to love and cuddle with some great animals without the long term responsibility of ownership.  

Tumnus, a golden retreiver, is the dog I have watched the most.  He was my first nephew, in a sense,  and is my sweet buddy.  When caring for a dog,  there is of course more activity involved.  They need more attention than most cats,  and especially like to go for walks.    When pet sitting for a dog,  I know I will need to set aside at least some time in my schedule to walk the dog.

The walk is the dogs time.  It's something I do for the dog; yet I kind of have had my own agenda:  We're going to go this direction, move at this pace, and for goodness sake we are not going to keep STOPPING all the time.  I call Tumnus: "Sir Sniffs A Lot" because he smells EVERYTHING, seemingly even more-so than other dogs.   The last couple of times I've watched Tumnus,  I challenged myself to let the walk be his time and to let him sniff, stop and even choose the direction we go when it is safe. 

Today I was thinking about how the whole joy and purpose, even destination of his walk is to stop and smell everything.  He learns about his environment, greets passers by (usually making someone smile), and finds tasty morsels along the way.   So many times I am so propelled by my destination that I miss so much.  Even on days that my destination is rest and enjoyment;  I still blast past people, places and opportunities because I "have somewhere to be".   Today, I am challenged to be a little more like Tumnus and to smell the everything on the way to getting where I'm going... and sometimes let that be the destination.