I'm a Runner Again!

Posted Nov 30, 2002 2:02 PM

Today's forecast for South Bend was for snow -- 3 to 6 inches, with gusty winds. I got up early, hoping to get in 7 miles before the bad weather arrived. As I got dressed and glanced outside I could see that the road was wet, but no snow. "No problem," I thought. "I'll be able to get the run in easy." I spent a few minutes at the computer to catch up on the postings here. but when I got up, I noticed that it looked awful dark outside. A closer look out the window revealed that the snow had started! The streets, sidewalks, yards, everything, were covered with a thin layer of white. Resolved to run anyway, I put on my wind gear, hat and gloves and headed out into the cold.

I gave up on the idea of a run along the river -- too dangerous to run along a curvy road with slick streets and drivers not looking for a crazy runner. Instead, I headed across the river to Clay Park, a favorite spot of mine, where I could run loops on the park's paved drive. Not much chance of traffic there on a day like today. The snow was almost like sleet, but the thin layer on the road cushioned my steps. Although there was no problem with footing, I kept the pace slow anyway. Crossing the river, I headed north along a dirt path that follows the river to the park. It was beautiful! Occasionally, one of the few remaining leaves, too stubborn to drop earlier this fall, would gently fall to the snow covered path in front of me.

I've got a loop mapped out at the park which is almost exactly 1K. It makes timed speed work easy. My running log has courses named Clay Park 1 Loop, 2 Loop, etc. There was no problem keeping track of how many times I'd gone around today. My footsteps from previous circles were clearly visible in the snow. My only company was a brave soul out walking his dogs. I thought "I'll do 5 loops today." As number 5 came I decided "Maybe 6 today." Finally, I settled on 7 one kilometer loops and then headed the 1 1/2 miles back home.

As I left the paved drive of the park and back along the river path, I reflected a bit on this renewed running mission I've been on and what I've accomplished so far. It's been 10 years since I ran with any regularity. I've now been running again for 4 consistent months -- two races down and lots of masters PRs to come. And here I was, out running, finishing 7 miles on a morning when most people would pull the covers over their head and sleep in for an extra hour!

As I rounded the last corner to home, there was no sign of my neighbors. They were probably all still snug inside. Although I felt a bit spent from the effort I was at the same time exhilarated. I'm a runner again! YEA!

Tom . . . South Bend, IN