A Pause Before The Run

With sunlight illuminating the office, offering a hint of warmer weather, I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm.

In the midst of training, and in need of mileage, the other day I decided to head home to let Coby out at lunch and pack a duffel bag with all the essentials: running shoes, shorts, a light jacket and some headphones. Several hours later, after an afternoon of meetings and various work duties, I exchanged office clothes for running clothes.

Stepping outside, though, gave me pause.

It might be sunny, but the wind was anything but gentle. Perhaps my decision wasn’t the best and a turn on the treadmill would be better? It certainly would be more comfortable.

But after months and months of grinding away miles on the treadmill, the itch to run outside had become too much to ignore. My footsteps carried me off to the Greenway, where I would wind my way along the Red River before exiting at a trail head near home. Within a few miles, my legs went numb and a brisk northern gale stung as it met the sweat on my freshly shaved head. But now I was stuck with a decision: turn around and face the wind head on or continue home, where the only option would be to run even farther into the sub-freezing wind.

Maybe I could call someone to drive me back to work, where I could retrieve my vehicle? Or simply run the next morning to work — a scenario that would leave me sweaty and wearing the same clothes as the day before. But having put myself in this position, there was only one real choice: put on warmer clothes and fight the wind back to work. For better or worse, I’d make this trek with Coby, who faced his longest run to date.

Despite his being latched to a 20-foot retractable leash, Coby darted out in front and pulled me along. After a day lounging around the house, he was ready to let loose. After about 3 miles, though, he showed signs he was ready to stop. But with 7 miles under my feet, I didn’t want to stay out in the cold any longer than necessary. We covered the last several blocks to my vehicle and out of the wind.

Once again, the sun is out today. The temperature is a tad warmer, and the wind less abrasive. It looks like another great evening to run home from the office.