I am wiped-out, don’t-fucking-touch-me exhausted. Today’s run took me through a lifetime of feelings and emotions over 14 miles.

I bundled up so nothing was exposed to the biting wind but a small part of my face. By the end of the second mile, the cold had evaporated into the countryside, and I loosened the tie on my hood and let it fall down against my back. I inhaled the smell of wood-burning fires and felt the sun charge me up with its energy.

With meaningful music ringing in my ears, I felt myself come alive on my country roads, there in the middle of all the Winter death and hibernation. Because I know, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, that one day not long from now I will see these empty fields spring to life with turned earth and tiny seeds which will grow up and change the whole landscape around me. The world will live again.

I threw my arms out wide and sang as I made my way easily down one of my favorite and familiar running routes. I felt my heart grow several sizes and open up big to accept everything this run had to offer to me.

The rolling hills invigorated me and sped me up instead of slowing me down, and I felt the love rise up from my feet with every step.

I came to the yellow house. In the summer months, an elderly man sits on the porch and watches the world go by, but his chair was nowhere to be seen on this cold Winter day.

As I crossed the street in front of the Jewish cemetery, I turned into a crazy headwind that took me away from my Sunday worship and presented me with one of the most challenging segments of any of my 2400 + miles I’ve logged in the past 2 years.

It was as though the Universe held its hand out against my forehead and prevented me from moving forward. My legs moved, but my body barely inched forward. My pace dropped significantly on my Garmin, even though I felt like my exertion level was throwing down 7:30 miles. I got mad. I dug down deep inside of myself, and I somehow pulled out the stubbornness I needed to complete those last long 5 miles. So difficult were they that I couldn’t even take my fluids or nutrition.

When I finally got home and clocked the last of the 14 scheduled miles, I felt like I’d just finished a full marathon.

My legs are burning and aching and I am truly spent. But I somehow feel inspired and ready to take on the week ahead. It should be a doozy.

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