Yesterday morning, as sunlight seeped into the sky and a sliver of the moon held on to its turf for as long as possible, I took off running, proud that I was able to drag my ass out of bed at 4:45 to put in 5 miles. Julie had to work at 6:30, so my only option to stay on schedule was this a.m. venture. It's amazing what you can accomplish just after waking up if you cast aside distractions and remain focused. By 5:00 a.m. I had begun to jog while most of the city still slept in the warm beds.
Before I reached 1 mile, I saw a young coyote, lost in civilization, wandering out of an apartment complex and crossing Newhall Ranch Road, one of the busiest roads in the city. But at the crack of dawn here was no traffic. It was only me and the coyote, two creatures roaming the streets in search of something. Perhaps the coyote was looking for food or trying to find its way back to the mountains. I know that I was looking for some healing and a good run. It crossed the intersection unscathed and virtually unnoticed, save for my two eyes. Moments later, two rabbits scampered across a small yard, free to run about in the quiet of the morn.
Yes, I was searching. Searching and hoping. My hope was that I would last for a good five miles and not suffer any leg pain or grow tired too quickly. As soon as I began running, I felt lighting in my steps. Two days earlier, as I completed my morning run, I was disgusted at how tired I felt. Not yesterday. I felt alive. Free. A sense of purpose pumped through my veins like it hadn't in weeks. I felt as if I was about to cross a threshold in my training.
Through my headphone, inspirational music carried me along. One song after another, my MP3 player magically channeled my needs and kept me motivated. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss sang their lovely duet, "Stick With Me Baby" and I couldn't help think of Julie ad all that we've been through and all that is in store for us. Then, Springsteen's acoustic rendition of "The Rising" recorded in Cleveland back in 2005. Tears wanted to come out as I cried out, "I'm running for my boy.... I'm running for my boy." I didn't cry, but instead let out a soft moan, pained. I'm running for my boy. I wish I was running for other reasons. Then, not to forget my beautiful girl, Marshall Crenshaw's "Someday Someway," the first contemporary rock song she used to sing as a 2 year old, brought a smile and lifted me back up. It was that kind of a morning. Before I knew it, I had run 4.3 miles and I only had .7 to go. At the turnaround of my 5 miles where I knew to head back home, the final song was "Lonesome Day."
How? How did this machine channel what I needed to survive this morning? It's just a machine, no?
By th time I got home, I was high. This was my best run, so far. No pain. Just gain.