Can woman exist on simple joys alone? Sometimes I wish it were so. I returned from my easybreezy run today (just fast enough to get warm) and walked down our stone path, towards the gate (which I built with my dad) on our porch to go inside. Husband was off in the woods, photographing his rock sculptures (he likes to capture them through the seasons, and in different hues of natural light) with our dog, Matilda. I didn’t know this, though, until I heard the jingling of her collar. A smile crept across my face, and I called to her. Like a brown bunny, she came streaking throught the forest, her nose pointed forward and her tail extended out, her white paws reaching out together as she exhuberantly bounded towards me. My heart leapt. I thought, Yes Matilda, yes. What could be more joyful than running through the snow towards someone you love? Just the running could be enough, but then add in a destination that makes you want to sprint with uncontainable happiness; well, that’s something to be thankful for.
This morning, I awoke briefly at 8:30 to bid my parents good-bye, then stumbled back to bed, where I stayed for another four hours, moving blissfully between a dreamless sleep and immobile moments of semi-awake recollection, in which all manner of memories scrolled through my thoughts. I’d slept for fourteen hours, thoroughly depleted from Thanksgiving Day’s cooking and entertaining. I bribed myself out of bed with the last piece of pumpkin pie, and the luxury of hours of uninterrupted time to read my best friend’s manuscript, her memoir entitled Not That Kind of Girl. At three o’clock, I donned my running outfit reminding myself that today wasn’t a push day, today was an ease up day. No need to gun it on this workout.
Taking my foot off the gas pedal today was acceptable because I whipped myself forward through my entire Thanksgiving Day run. It wasn’t what I’d planned for yesterday, but I was so wound up by the time I hit the road, I uncoiled like a spring and shot forward the second I flicked on little G’s timer. I called on every last bit of energy and muscle I had, even feeling my abs holding my torso upright as I gritted my way through miles three and four (the hilliest). Part of me knew this was my only moment to myself all day and I should slow down and make it last, but the other part of me knew I had something to burn, and that something must be in cinders when I finally walked back in to the house to baste the turkey. So I raced on, wishing I was stronger than I was so I could hammer the hills even harder than I already was. I thought of Ryan Hall; I thought of his grace and the way his training in California flattened the loops of Central Park when he was in New York last year to compete in the Olympic Trials. I too want to run the six-mile loop and think, Park, try harder, for I scorn your so-called hills. Thanksgiving’s workout wound up at 41:05 for 4.66 miles and with somewhat erratic splits: 8:52, 8:09, 8:49, 9:37, 5:39 (that’s an 8:32 pace for the last .66 miles).
Today’s workout was significantly slower, at 46:17 for 4.57 miles. Songs I listened to today: “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, “She” by Harry Connick, Jr., “Come Along with Me” by Joe Sample, “Just t he Two of Us” by Gover Washington, “September” and “In the Stone” by Earth, Wind & Fire, “Nothing Lasts Forever” by Maroon 5, “Let There Be Love” by Oasis, “In the Waiting Line” by Zero 7, “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” by Colin Hay.