After 90 minutes of mental tug-of-war, I finally laced up and darted down the driveway.

  • Do I really want to run this morning?
  • Maybe I’m over this running thing and on to something else?
  • Do I even miss running?
  • Why should I run with a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee calling my name?
  • Is your shin ready for this?

During the first hundred strides these thoughts persisted, but vanished in almost an instant as I rounded a familiar bend in the road and the filtered sun hit my pale face. Actually, my very pale face. Taking over a month off of running in Spring has kept my complexion in mid-February form. For me, this is pale on pale. Don’t even get me started on my legs – literally blinding!

markshoes

OK, back on track… those questionable thoughts evaporated.

As I approached the neighborhood landmark commemorating the first mile – an elaborate Packer helmet mailbox – I performed a sort of system check.

Brain… Feeling clearer and more certain.

Back… Sweet!Thanks for asking.

Quads & hammies… All good friend

Left shin… Feeling OK… or not? Oh, sure I feel fine. Wait a minute, is that Mr. Stress Fracture? Nope that’s your brain playing a trick. Good enough. Keep going!

After thanking my shin for this extensively confusing progress report and final acknowledgement to march on, I did just that.

I completed the 2.2 mile neighborhood lap and prepped for a quick check-in on the boys to make sure there were no fires or pile drivers. To my utter surprise, the only thing that broke out was a civil and scary calm game of Monopoly.

markkids

Jaw-dropping shock!

Cool… I can keep running!

  • Yes, I want to be running this morning.
  • No, I’m totally not over this running thing…not even close!
  • I have missed you, my friend.
  • That breakfast sandwich and coffee are going to be awesome after a few more miles.
  • And my shin is reporting positive feedback.

Three more mind-cleansing miles in beautiful conditions ensued. Well, my mind likely manifested the beauty. It was technically pretty nice outside for a run, but to me, it couldn’t have been more pristine.

In the midst of those three miles, the Monopoly game ended in favor of a living room brawl, a toy tornado of some sort passed through, and they discovered a treasure on Amazon that just had to be purchased.

Here’s the negotiation…

Sam – “It’s only $4.84.”

Me – “How much is shipping?”

Sam – “Only $5.26.”

Me – “That’s crazy, but let’s order it. You’re lucky you caught me right after running.”

Sam – “Really? When do I need to pay you back?”

Me – “Don’t worry about it. I’ll pay for it. You know, Sam, after I run everything in the world is perfect.”

Sam – “But it really isn’t Dad… you know that, right?”

Me – “I know, but it sure feels like it. Do you ever feel like that after you run at school?”

Sam – “Nope. Thanks Dad!”

Maybe someday he will. But I sure hope he forgets about this specific moment when he’s 16 and wants a car. If he catches me post run, it will be an easy negotiation.

#postrunsucker

I didn’t fully realize it until living it again… this was the moment that was missing for the last month.

I’m me again.

Here’s the final three-point assessment of my return to running:

Physically… feeling strong and still a pale hue.

Fiscally… $10.10 poorer.

Mentally… 10x richer and feeling truly amazing!

———–

Cautiously looking forward to running a marathon with you all in June. Time is out the window… fun is officially in!!!

Until next time, wishing you more miles and happiness. Enjoy today! If you would like me to write about anything in particular in future posts, just want banter about running, or have a question, feel free to email me at mark@happyrun.net