Footfalls

The other evening I ran.

This in and of itself is not particularly significant. I've been running a couple of times a week. I'm signed up for the Army Run 5k so running a few times a week is a good thing. And well, running in general is a good thing because I spent far too much of my time on my butt in from a computer screen, tv screen or reading a book.

I don't love running. I'm trying. I love the idea of running but the actuality of running is a different story.

I don't normally run in the evenings. My ideal running time is somewhere between 8 and 9am during the week. Even earlier if I call roll myself out bed for a 7am run on the weekends.

I was sitting (as usual) and reading (again, as usual) and thinking about running. I was thinking I should run. I finally got annoyed with myself and decided the only way I would stop thinking about it if I actually did it.

I got up and pulled on my running clothes. My hand hovered over my iPhone and I stopped. I left it hover. And then I left the phone on the bed, grabbed my key and left.

I don't usually listen to music when I run. It annoys me. (I don't listen to it when I work, either.) I mostly use my iPhone for the RunKeeper app which tells me how far I've run and for how long. It tells me my average pace. It chirps up every five minutes to give me a status update. It's really a useful training tool for me. Other times I'll use the Zombies, Run app and try to outrun the zombie hordes while picking up supplies to bring back to base. It's actually quite fun.

But that night, I didn't want any of it. I didn't want to think about outrunning zombies or if I was going fast enough or far enough.

I feel lucky to live where we do. I go a few steps out my front door and I connect to a path that connects to more paths. When I run it's through trees. I could go for miles without stepping foot on a sidewalk. Except for the part where I can't actually go for miles. At least, not yet. Maybe someday.

The path was strangely quiet. I had thought that it would be full of people but it seems that everyone was home making dinner. I passed a few people but mostly it was me, the squirrels, and one stray cat.

With no prompts to tell me how far I was going or that I needed to kick it up a notch because I had a zombie at my back, I focused on my breathing. I focused on putting one foot in front of the other. I told myself that yes, I really could run that far before I stopped for a short walking break.

There was nothing but me, the trees and the sound of my footfalls.