The Final 4

Never have my legs felt so great after a marathon. Perhaps it’s that I dialed down my training and entered the Surf City USA Marathon fresh. Maybe it’s been the perfect weather – sun, no clouds, low 50s – for the morning runs this week in Arizona. Or the chance to unwind to feel the soothing jets from the resort hot tub.

No matter the reason, this was a week I needed. A break from the challenges of running Fargo’s winter. And to rediscover the fun and pure joy of running.

Quite honestly, the final month before my marathon, running became a chore. A challenge that I just didn’t find inviting most days. My body told me I needed a break but I was committed to running the marathon. Too much hard work, especially speed workouts on the treadmill, had been logged.

Then I took 4 days off after the Feb. 6 race and joined a friend for a good morning run. And then I found myself in the desert, surprised at how easy and smooth the runs were. After logging 10 miles yesterday, I decided to keep it short today. It was 4 miles, essentially a trip around a large city block, before jumping in the pool.

Returning home, I know the cold will be there to greet me, and challenge my attitude and desire to get out to run long. But I’m also aware there’s a dog – big, red and with a heart of a puppy – waiting for me to take him on another journey.