Dave’s Winter Running Update

It was a cool, rainy Sunday morning and I was just coming off a planned two-week break. I dawdled the morning away for as long as I could before leaving the house for my run.

I’m always surprised at how quickly habits change. In the normal flow of my life, I step outside to run in all kinds of weather without any hesitation. The break had softened my resolve.

I drove to a high school parking lot that was empty when I pulled in. I turned off the car engine and listened to the raindrops on the roof. Then I finally stepped outside.

Most people would have described the morning as miserable and dreary. I wouldn’t have argued.

And then I took the first stride of the day.

The first stride of any run is choppy for me. The first stride after a two-week break is even worse, but it led to another stride, and then another, and in no time at all by body was in familiar territory.

The light rain didn’t stop, but it dissolved from my awareness. In fact, I was aware of very little, aside from the rhythmic movement that has filled countless hours of my aging lifetime.

Running brings me to an introspective place, where I can be alone with all that is inside me. I can inspect my mood, collect my thoughts, and heal my wounds.

I have not raced in almost two years, but I’m starting to think about setting goals again. Soon, I’ll be testing my limits in workouts. I’ll have doubts, but I’ll get past them. I’ll fight. I’ll lose some days and win others. I’ll develop tenacity, get stronger, and reform myself into a competitor once again.

The rain stopped just as I was finishing my run. I drank some water, did some leg swings, got into the car, and drove home.

Seasons equate to weather most of the time, but runners have seasons too. They begin with new goals and end at finish lines. Some are perfect. Some are unpleasant. But each one builds on the one before it, becoming a part of us, and making us stronger for the seasons that still lay ahead.

After running through so many seasons, the end result matters less to me now. I love the effortless runs, but I also love knowing I can endure deep fatigue. I love the daily routine, the solitude, the pride, and the emotional stability running brings.

I love chasing dreams, even when they never come true.

Start a new season, dream and new dream, take a first step, and let the process feed your heart.