I am SO HAPPY I decided to do this.
I begin marathon training in 2 weeks and the group I’m training with (=PR= Distance Training Program) will meet on Saturday mornings at 6:30am for long runs, so I won’t have the flexibility to go whenever I want at that point (unless of course I want to run alone which would certainly defeat the purpose of joining a marathon training program!). So I figured today I would take advantage of the freedom and go a little later. Instead I left my house around 8:30, just after nursing the baby. I ran 10 miles instead of the 7 the club had planned. And it was delightful.
It was the **perfect** morning for a long run. Coolish (around 70 degrees) and cloudy. The trail was absolutely blooming and beautiful. I saw an indigo bunting perched on a branch around mile 8. It was the most stunning shade of blue. I had to stop, stare and smile at this gorgeous, delicate and vibrant bird. I saw several chipmunks, a couple of cotton tail bunnies and two frogs. Thankfully I did NOT see any snakes (copperheads are everywhere this time of year) – they completely freak me out and give me the heebie-jeebies.
At mile two a nice man in his early seventies came up and starting running next to me. At first I was a little stunned when he just started running right next to me and chatting me up, but I quickly realized that he was just a nice person looking for a little company on his long run. His name is Mike and he is a grandfather of 6 kids ages 8 – 15. He and his wife love to garden and they used to live in the foothills of Utah. He is getting ready to train for the Baltimore Marathon. I really enjoyed talking with him and it made the two miles we ran together whiz by even though they were my two slowest paced miles today. After Mike and I parted ways, it got me thinking….About all the stories behind all of the people out on that trail. What brought us each out there today? Who are we and what thoughts were filling our heads, welling up in our hearts? I am not the kind of runner to just randomly start chatting with someone on the trail, but I do smile and nod or say hello when I pass a fellow runner. I appreciate the gesture from others, too.
What about you — have you ever made a random friend out on the trails? Do you make an effort to say good morning or hello to your fellow runners?