The best runs are those when you get out the door, run down the street until you reach the path and just keep going. When you let your thoughts float with no burden of time commitment or places to be. When life isn’t so neatly stacked so that you’re checking your watch, worried about pace and mileage and getting back home by a certain time so you can move on to the next item on the to-do list.
One of the appeals of running — like driving long distances — is that you can let your mind wander. Ideas and thoughts pop in and out until you solve problems or develop grand ideas or dream up some new adventure.
Only when I let my thoughts go free that I feel completely comfortable on the run. There’s not a time I recall that I’ve gone out on a run, to decidedly brainstorm a solution, and it actually happened. Instead, it’s those moments between footfalls when ideas seem to suddenly appear, and I have the answer I’d been looking for.
It’s easier said than done.
But Saturday was one of those days, when I awoke way too early and didn’t really have anything to do. Sure, there were seemingly a dozen small house projects incomplete since the move, but nothing really motivating me to do it, at least not with the thought or prospect of some other task or activity.
My strides took me down the road, beneath a canopy of trees, until I reached a path along the Red River. The pace didn’t matter, and yet the mile splits still surprised me. The river was left alone to me, for the most part, as I navigated its bends and curves.
Once back home, I pulled a bike out of the garage and grabbed a leash. Coby and Cooper would each get their turns on a jog before my attention turned to some of those unfinished projects.