an athlete photographer's blog

Fresh Start

A 12 minute mile is just as far as a 6 minute mile.
– Unknown

The Run
4.19 miles

The Picture

Purple Blooms

The Recap

Today was an I-dropped-my-keys-in-the-gym-toilet sort of run, literally and figuratively.

If I’m going to drive somewhere for a run, I like there to be a bathroom at the start.  It’s just good sense.  Start on empty, that’s my motto.  So when I decided to try out running on Fort Riley, naturally, I parked my car at the gym and went inside to use the facilities.  I didn’t have my pack with me.  It was just a quick pit stop before setting out so I hung the keys on the hook on the stall door.  Quick, quick, quick. Went to the bathroom, flushed, grabbed the keys from the hook, quick, quick, quick, and before I knew what was happening the keys gracefully flicked off the hook and were sent in a perfect trajectory straight into the commode.  Quick, quick, quick became gross, gross, gross, thank goodness the toilet was empty, but gross, gross, gross.  I had two options: 1. Go to the front desk and ask for cleaning gloves and explain my situation. 2. Do a quick, quick, quick snatch and grab.  What would you have done?

So I left the gym with one strike against me, but that wasn’t going to dampen my spirits.  The morning wind was cold in the parking lot and I was starting to thinking maybe this wasn’t the best spot.  However, I hadn’t even started running so, of course, I was cold.  I just needed to get moving.  I grabbed my pack and set off in a quick, quick, quick pace to get the blood flowing.

Fort Riley

I hurt everywhere.  And the hills.   Oh my, the hills.  Everything from the waist down was in agony.  Tight calves, tight hamstrings, burning quads.  I should know better than to lift legs on Friday evening and expect a great run on Saturday morning.  And I’m pretty sure the beer and staying up late last night did not promote a quick, quick, quick recovery.

I pressed on.  I started to get frustrated with myself.  I wasn’t getting anywhere.  Running on post was a bad idea.  It all looks so blah and sterile, the wind, and on and on in my head.  Everything was going wrong.  I walked some.  I felt like a little failure.  I stopped for a moment and stretch my calves on the curb.  I prayed that God would give me a fresh start for my run.

When I started back up, I felt a little relief because I was running downhill now.  But before long, my legs were in pain again.  Do I need new shoes?  I couldn’t take it.  In those moments, it seems like you feel too much.  I could tell now that my socks were too thick.  My shoes were too tight.  And there was one hamstring that was more nagging than the others.  I was at least two miles from the car.  Ow, ow, ow.

I walked some.  Took a few pictures.  And let my mind sort out the shambles of this run.

Bottom Line:  I was simply not prepared.

So now what?

Well, I had to get back to the car.  And it was cold.  So I ran as best I could.

But in my head, I had two choices: 1. Stay frustrated about the run. 2. Call a spade a spade,  this was a bad run.  And move on.

While I was sorting this out in a half-jog, I remembered what I said to my husband last night, I want to go for a run tomorrow, but mostly I just want to hang out with you and help work on the office.  That’s right!  I had other things to do today that were more important.  I was not going to let this bad run ruin my whole day.  It wasn’t even meant to be a big run.  Once that weight was lifted from my shoulders, I realized how happy I was to be out running.  It was not one for the books, but who cares.  I was running.  I was doing exactly what I wanted to do.  Slow, slow, slow.

There are things you can change and things you can’t.  The only thing I could change was my attitude.  God answered my prayer.  Not how I anticipated, but better.  He refreshed my outlook and gave me a fresh start for the day.  I got back to the car with the same endorphins as if I had had a great run; joyful that I had been out running and praising my heavenly father for keeping me focused on what matters most.  Maybe a bad run was just what I needed to remind me that running will never be first place in my heart.  At the end of the day, I don’t need to be quick, quick, quick.  I need to be a follower of Christ, a devoted wife, and loving mother.

When I got home, my husband and daughter were about to leave for Home Depot for drywall.  Great.  They need dad-daughter time and I needed a shower.  I have my fresh start for the day, oh, and a disinfected set of car keys…


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