I am, somewhat in spite of myself, "training" for a half-marathon at the beginning of February.
Training casually, trying to increase my weekly mileage and frequency, but without sacrificing trapeze time. Or, for that matter, time with El Bandito or friends or holidays or... yeah. So, it's not an optimal way to train for an athletic event, but it's a way to train around my life.
I am grateful that El Bandito accommodates my exercise needs and desires. That he doesn't grumble when I schedule events around my planned runs (or around my trapeze and circus conditioning).
Grateful that running gives me better stamina on the trapeze, even as it reduces my flexibility and makes me work harder.
That running gives my mind time to wander and work through things.
That sometimes, running comes down to my footfalls and my breathing and not very much else.
That sometimes, running is views and awe. And sometimes, running is the fog and not seeing more than 30 feet in front of me in the misty park.
Grateful for the miles these shoes have taken me, in the quiet late evenings and the few early mornings.
For the strength in my legs, the power in my heart that lets me do these things.
For the friends who have decided that perhaps this crazy running business isn't truly so crazy -- or, if it so crazy, they're willing to partake in the insanity with me.
For the solo runs.
For the camaraderie of the other runners on the roads and paths, the nods and smiles of acknowledgement.
I've grown to love running. I knew I missed it when I was told with the ankle injury in 2010 that I couldn't run. Missing it isn't the same as loving it. But as I start to run longer, farther, more often, I start to crave it.
I'm grateful for the ability to run. To, from, towards, away. For the quiet solo miles I've been logging on my early evening runs. For all that those miles give me.