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Perseverance.  Focus.  Endurance.

 
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
        Hebrews 12:1-2
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Sometimes I Question My Sanity

Oh. My. Goodness. I just went for the most amazing, exhilarating, muddiest, most beautiful run of my LIFE! I don't even have enough adjectives to sum up how ABSolutely perfect it was. Heh. See what I did there?...no?..okay.

 

I adore running. I have this weird love affair with it. I think it's safe to say we're going steady, running and I. Most of my runs end with me saying, "OHMYGOSH that was the best run ever!" to no one in particular. But I don't recall myself being so excited about a run before. I mean, it was only a mere four miles -- following a favourite block route of mine out in the country. Yes, I still got chased by dogs. Yes, my legs burned and that one hill just about killed me. And yes, there was mud. Lots of it. (BTW I encourage y'all to sign up for a mud run like the Warrior Dash; they're SO fun!) Minnesota had been blessed with a 42 degree afternoon with the sun shining and just the slightest hint of a breeze listing in the air. THe snow from the previous weekend had melted and left behind massive vats of delicious, tantalizing, glorious....mud.

 

 Let's flash back to your childhood, shall we? After a nice dousing rainfall you head outside equipped with your big rain boots, much too big for you, but hey, anything to splash around, right? You leap into puddles, gleefully laughing and sending fat droplets of mud flying in all directions. Soon enough, you're soaked from head to toe and look rather homeless. But that's okay, because no childhood is complete without a good mud puddle to jump around in.

 

Okay, back to the present. My run. My amazing, million dollar run. It had been a long, frustrating day for me; I never even planned on running at all. But as soon as I got home I was overcome with this wrestless, I NEED TO RUN feeling. I'm sure y'all can relate. So I scrambled to find my running tights, grabbed a shirt, gave it the sniff check, "Meh, it'll have to do," pulled my mop of hair into a ponytail, and stuffed my feet into my beloved, ratty, worn out running shoes. Stylin' huh?

 

And so I set out at a quick pace, quicker than normal, feeling the afternoon sun on my face and a slight breeze kicking up my hair. I was surprised at how good I felt-- not having run on the country roads in a LONG time. See, that's the thing about living in Minnesota-- I mean, Minnesnowta; winters are tough for runners with all the harsh temps and feet of snow that accumulate over the weeks. I've been stuck on an indoor track and confined to a dreadmill for months! It's a wonder I'm still (somewhat) sane.

 

So here I am, running and feeling like a kid on Christmas day, waving at the goats and horses in the pasture, having a conversation (a rather one sided one) with a deer, and just relishing in the act of running itself. Before I knew it I had passed the two mile mark and was now faced with a hill. This hill in particular always gets me; it's steep, it's almost always rough and worn out, and it stretches over about 200 meters. So it kinda sucks. But I powered through without a second thought. What? That never happens. By this time I was smiling like a maniacal lunatic. At one point I had a bout of hysterical laughter; I'm not THAT crazy, I just really really love to run.

 

I splashed around in the mud puddles along the gravel roads and the result of this was quite the sight; my running tights and shoes looked like Mother Nature had taken a trip to Taco Bell and had explosive diarrhea soon after. Not the illustration I was initially going for, but it works. Of course, there were dogs; this stupid little yapper of a Russell Terrier bit at my heels like he was herding me down the road. I honestly didn't mind-- I was just SO HAPPY to be running. I get called insane more often than I do dedicated. Not sure if that's a good thing.

 

In all honesty, this post isn't about my afternoon run; it's about my love for running. Just the simplicty of running in itself is a gift we tend to disregard all too often. Next time you're out for a run, smile. If not for joy of running, then at least strike a pose for Google Maps. ;)

 

Happy Trails!!

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