As has been the case for a couple of weeks now, I awoke in a sullen mood. I drug myself out of bed and made a bee line for the coffee pot. As I stood against the kitchen counter, I found myself craving a long solo run. I was aiming for 6-8 miles at an easy pace. But that was not to be today. I had agreed to meet one of the guys who is rather new to our running group and has been out for a couple of weeks. He asked if I had any runs he could join me on this week and I told him Wednesday was his best bet for the pace he wanted.
But honestly, today I just didn't feel like it. I didn't want to chat or make small talk with anyone. I wanted to take my bad mood and literally run it off. I wanted to clear my head, think about some things and immerse myself in some MUCH needed prayer time. Every so often, when this type of mood develops, running alone is the best medicine for me. And after a crappy feeling pace training run yesterday, the type that messes with racing confidence, I just needed to do my own thing.
I wasn't going to tell Tim that. He'd surely think it were some excuse to avoid running with him as I often think people that are new to running heavily rely on the company of others to get them motivated and out the door (completely understandable). It's very easy to talk yourself out of a run when no one is counting on you to be there.
When my coffee was ready, I went to my computer to read my friend Aleisa's blog and check on baby Nora. This is the routine I have settled into since the birth of Nora in April. As I read Aleisa's post, chills crept over me as Aleisa recounted a clear example of God's glaring presence in her life yesterday. How I crave having the type of faith she does! I was reminded of how compassionate, how loving and how REAL God is. And when we wholeheartedly believe in Him and His love for us, our prayers are answered. Sometimes, as seen in Aleisa's case, immediately. I realized how many people would read that, then take something difficult out onto their back decks and pray. Perhaps they would be disheartened when the thing they desired the most didn't suddenly appear like it did for Aleisa. Perhaps those with a complete lack of faith would think "Yup, that's what I figured... nothing..." and go back to their day, unaffected as usual. I know better than to think that way.
With Nora fresh on my mind, I headed out the door and up the street. I must've been very deep in thought as a voice from the other side of the street said "Mornin' Kate.". I looked over in the still darkish morning to see Tim waving. I ran across the street to chit chat with him and we headed down to Sarah's studio where she and Ryan would join in for part of our run. Tim and I ran at a very comfortable, conversational pace, discussing our recent vacations, work, kids and road construction on Harrison Avenue. We got to Sarah's studio where Ryan and Sarah joined us. Thank God I have people to run with who honestly know the meaning of taking it easy! We have evolved from the days of trying to be tough and running hard when we shouldn't be. We can be real and sometimes real is "We all feel like shit and are sluggish and a 10 minute or slower pace suits us today.... oh and yes, some of us can run some damn fast races too!" My mood had begun to lift as soon as I started running and now it was just about gone at this realization. We did our loop, dropped Tim off at home along the way and continued down to Sarah's place. With Ryan and Sarah done, I headed back up Harrison Ave to home. I had no music to distract me so I just began to think. I thought about how my morning started and how it was shaping up. I wanted to run alone, but what I needed was to run with the people I did. Now I was getting in my alone time. What began with a morning wallowed in self-pity and grumpiness was replaced with gratitude and peacefulness. I got home and was greeted by one messy, haired, sleepy-eyed five year old who didn't care that her momma was sweaty, gross and stinky. For her sake, I went and quickly changed into dry clothes and came downstairs, scooped her up and read her a book.
God is all around us. He gives us what we need all the time (that is not always what we think we want) When we pay attention and recognize it, it is incredible.
Thank you God for giving me what I needed today and everyday.