Today I did something that I’ve never done before, and having done it, I can now truthfully say that I am a runner — not a walk/jogger, not even a jogger, but a runner.
I’ve mentioned that I’m now capable of running 4+ miles before my first walk break. I’ve done this at the start of longer runs, but at a rather slow pace (even for slow happy me) in order to conserve energy for the later miles. For this afternoon, I’d planned to do a 4-mile run as an easy prelude to the 10+ that I plan to do Sunday morning. As I was starting out it suddenly occurred to me that it was within my reach to run the whole distance. I’ve never done that before, not at any distance. I ran east from the Port Angeles city pier, out two miles and back. The particular significance of those two returning miles is that they are also the final two miles of the North Olympic Discovery half marathon that I’ve now completed twice. I have all-too-vivid memories of those final two miles, dragging myself, willing myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other, no longer running but just doing whatever I could to maintain forward progress. I would manage to run/stagger the final tenth of a mile to the finish line, and to smile for the camera, but that would be all I had left at that point.
So even though it was only the last mile of 4 instead of 13.1, it was a huge psychological rush for me to pick up the pace and run that last mile in 10:55, and to push the stop button on my GPS watch without having taken a single walking step. Four miles in 47 minutes. I’m getting better at this.
Hurrah, I am a runner!
Today I didn’t see or hear any interesting wildlife until I was doing my cool-down walk out on the pier, where I got to enjoy the antics of a harbor seal, and then look south and see the crescent moon rising low over the mountains.
I love living here.
I wish it weren’t already September. This summer (which really didn’t start until the very end of July) is ending far too soon. The last two nights I’ve seen lows in the 40s, and the leaves are definitely starting to turn. The good news is that the weather for Labor Day weekend and the next several days looks great. I honestly can’t remember a 3-day weekend in my nearly 9 years in Port Angeles when all three days were perfect, but it may happen this year.
It sort of gives a person hope that the future potentially holds a bit more than darkness, cliffs, and endless, lonely grief.
One step at a time.