As you can see from other posts, I worked hard all through the spring and summer towards a few long-distance races. I achieved my goals (well – most of them) and was ready for my well-deserved rest. But many of my running buddies still had their races on the horizon so I joined in and churned out some more big days in a show of support and camaraderie. Well, I overdid it. One day, out on the trail up towards Mt Frosty, a switch clicked off. I was done. I didn’t want to do this anymore. It was all I could do to get back to the car and get my shoes off as quickly as possible – although that itself took about 3 more hours on trail!
So my shoes remained on the shelf for the following 25 days. I didn’t even think about it. I let other things fill my leisure time. It was glorious.
Near the end of this week, I got a brief email from my favourite running buddy:
I’m going to the “island” on Saturday.
See you there??
Although it is not mentioned in the note, running was on the agenda, written in secret code that only a fellow running buddy could decipher. The meeting time didn’t even get written in, since it is always the same (and I am always 10 minutes late). But the secret code also let me know that this was not a training run. It was simply a social get-together on the trails. Before I could even think it through, I hit reply.
After I hit send, my brain started to protest. I didn’t want to run. I had other things to do. I was so exhausted from the start of the school year. Maybe I should call and cancel. I’d love to have a bit of a sleep-in. But I didn’t ever get around to calling him and, next thing you know, I’m pulling into the parking lot, looking for his car.
And for the next few hours, we ran and hiked and chatted and laughed and had an awesome time together. It was all capped off with a tasty scone and strong coffee before we headed on home. I waved goodbye to him as our cars diverged on the highway. I began thinking that I don’t really enjoy the racing and the training. What I truly love is running for the pure enjoyment of great friends and beautiful places.