I wasn’t feeling very excited about my 17-mile training run this morning.  At LSD training pace, we’re talking over 3 hours of running.  Shit.  Plus, I lost an hour last night, thanks to the brilliant practice of Daylight Saving Time (sarcasm intended).
I got a late start, jamming a piece of chocolate babka in my face for breakfast with a gulp of water chaser before hitting the pavement with all my gear and a skeptical attitude.  I had to replace my iPhone music with a regular iPod with a longer battery life – plus it’s smaller and easier to manage, leaving my phone free for candid shots along the way.  My fuel belt was packed with an assortment of crunchy snacks, sports beans, GU energy gels, Gatorade, and water.  I strapped my Garmin to my wrist, my iPod to my bicep, and taped a list of turns for my new route on my forearm.  I held a banana in my hand for a reward at the end of the first hour. 
My visual as I was leaving the neighborhood was of an old woman trudging along with her kitchen sink tied to her back. 
I don’t remember much about the first 7 miles or so.  The time went by so quickly that I thought I was at mile 5 when I saw the completion of mile 7 pop up on my watch.  Banana time.
My route was new, with exciting new views and challenges.  I guess I should have known that Hill Road probably wasn’t named for an important person named Hill.  As I made my way on this gorgeous stretch of rolling countryside, I experienced pure delight as I tackled each “up” and glided down the other side with a huge grin on my face.
The locals in this tucked-away paradise were friendly and courteous, leaving me lots of room and waving as they passed.  It reminded me so much of Indiana.  Horses, lakes, neat farmhouses, and a bright red barn with a sign that read, “Grandpa’s Workshop.”  Musky smells of manure and woods and hay…    
I took a gel at mile 11, and the next 4 went by so fast I thought my Garmin was defective.
The last stretch was in familiar territory, and my feet knew the way home, picking up a little speed and finishing off with energy to spare.
So, surprisingly, I adored this Sunday run.  I soaked it all in – deep inside of myself – and let it fill me up and warm my bones with all things beautiful and good.  I gratefully whispered my thanks to the Universe and raised my hands to the sky in praise.
You just can’t beat a 3-hour worship service like that.

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