Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Something Old, Something New

This past weekend I went to Richmond, Virginia for my college reunion (yikes, getting old!) and then to Jacksonville, Florida for a work conference. Of course, I packed my running shoes.

Sunday morning I had my reunion with Richmond running routes. Richmond was where I trained for my first marathon and there were tons of places I wanted to run but only one measly run to see them all. Even though it has been years since I ran these roads, I still remembered the hills and the turns, if not the street names. I remembered the thoughts and dreams I had back then, of finishing my first marathon, of getting faster, of life after graduation. I wished I could have run for longer; it would have taken a solid 20 miler to hit all my spots, and I was bummed I didn't have that on the schedule (a real rarity to be wishing for 20 milers!) I was sad to turn around and head back. 

On Monday and Tuesday I flew down to Florida. The hotel was on the beach and so choosing where to run was easy: Monday I went south along the beach, Tuesday I went north. The sun was shining, but not too unbearably hot just yet, and the beach was peaceful and serene. A picture of the turnaround point from Monday's run is below.

Good morning.
Tuesday I left the camera in the hotel room. As is always the case when I don't have a camera, it was even prettier than Monday. I beat the sun up and so the sky was still a splash of pastel watercolors. The fact that I couldn't permanently capture the moment made it all the more special. It's a runner's privilege to see the world before the rest of it wakes up. And on that day only the sand, the waves, and I enjoyed the pinks and blues of the sky just before sunrise. On the way back, a pod of dolphins kept up the pace with me for a little while, jumping up and down through the waves as I ran parallel along the shore. They were just out for a morning stroll and I had a conference to get back to, so eventually I had to bid them farewell and leave them behind. Again, I wished I could have run for longer. 

It's not always easy to squeeze in runs during vacations, work conferences, or visits with friends, to find the time in busy days or the room in a packed suitcase for running gear. But I think the excitement and beauty of a new place or the memories of an old trail are great motivators. If that is the only day you'll get the opportunity to run in that place, it's hard to pass up. As always, you'll be glad you went. 

Today it was back to the boring trails of home. Because it's National Running Day, or because it's just a regular Wednesday, I had to go for a run. Halfway through it started sprinkling through the sunshine, and so I spent the remainder of the run craning my neck desperately looking for a rainbow. (Fortunately I managed not to run into anything or anyone while doing this.) There were no rainbows, let alone waves crashing or old memories. I missed my dolphin friends. It was just a typical everyday run with no bells and whistles.  But I was still glad I went.

Dream big, 


  1. Thank you for transporting me from my tiny work cubicle to the beach at sunrise. You made my day.

    1. Runner Teal,

      I agree with GotMyTShirt: thank you for lovely essay.