Running with the sunset

Last Monday our family dog passed away after a rapid, unexpected decline.

Work was killer.

And emotionally, I was spent.

But nonetheless I squeezed in two training runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and didn’t really know what I wanted to do last weekend. The weather app on my phone said Saturday was going to be the washout to Sunday’s clearer day, so I toyed with running Sunday instead.

However, I definitely need Sunday to rest before the work week resumes. I would love to be one of those people who can run five or six times a week and not lose faith – and completely envy those runners. But I’m not. I run twice a week with a long run on Saturday, which certainly doesn’t start at some godforsaken hour. I need my elliptical cross training during the week, and there’s no way I can get up and run in the morning and make it to work on time.

Anything before 5 a.m. is too damn early.

I thought about running Saturday morning when I woke up, but that got slowly pushed back as I wanted to get my errands done and house cleaned first. And for the first time last week I was relaxed and enjoying myself. I got my outside walkway and back patio cleaned up for fall decorations, and after lunch made it to Lynd Fruit Farm for my annual pumpkin acquisition.

Off topic decorating tip: white pumpkins go with pretty much every exterior color scheme.

The rain that was supposed to come on Saturday missed me, and it was a relaxing cool afternoon after the last of the summer humidity moved out. Eventually I got out the door at 5 p.m. to head downtown, with a promise to my mom I’d either be completely done by or heading home at 8.

The journey west on Broad to COSI was calming. So was heading up to the Arena District to Goodale Park to OSU as the football game was ending and fans were moving down the streets.

In hindsight I probably should have planned my run earlier to avoid football traffic, but running among people and evening lights wasn’t stressful for once. Even though I didn’t speak to anyone, I felt a connection to all those strangers that I hadn’t felt the previous week.

Losing Max (the aforementioned dog) and grieving left me in a very waffly state. Some moments I was fine and then I’d start tearing up over nothing. It didn’t help that every time I went out in the evenings all the dog walkers in the city decided that specific moment in time was an excellent time to walk their happy dogs.

But on Saturday night I didn’t feel sadness. I felt freedom and calm, and I was completely aware and one with the world around me.

By time I re-arrived to downtown the sun was going down. It’s not uncommon to see some beautiful colors in the boondocks where I came of age, but the vividness of the sky – of purples and pinks swirled together in the west – was unlike anything I had ever seen in Columbus before. I stopped at the Battelle Riverfront Park to take a picture of the sky illuminating the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, which I texted to my mom before wrapping up my final mile.

That run wound up being 11 miles, totaling 21 miles ran this past week. I was a little sore Sunday morning and found fresh chafe marks on my lower back, but it was completely okay.

I felt God the night before in the sky and the wind and those people I ran past. I felt my Max was with me, and I felt that everything was falling into place somehow. Although what exactly fell into place wasn’t revealed to me quite yet.

And I’m confident I’m going to get that revelation one day.








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