By Christopher Cudworth
I don’t usually blog on the weekend but when good things happen they deserve to be celebrated.
And this morning I ran well. It felt good. I ran faster than I have in two months. And I wasn’t in pain the entire way or following the workout.
The best I can figure is that two things were at work.
1) Today is my birthday, and cosmos had mercy on me.
2) My speed workout earlier this week blew out the carbon in my veins, muscles and everywhere else.
We ran at a forest preserve called Herrick Lake. Lately I’ve been happy to get through the 5.5 mile loop before my body started to hurt too badly. Even last winter I was running twice that far without much problem.
But then I ran into a tree going 20mph while not paying attention and the last 5 weeks have felt like I had ropes for veins. Everything was knotted up and unwilling to unwind.
Then I went to the track and did a 4 X 400 workout and the rest of the week felt much better. We slipped out of town for a three-day mini-vacay in Oregon, Illinois and biked and ran and golfed and ate.
So perhaps things are coming back together in some other way.
And today I felt like the girl in the new movie Lucy, in which Scarlett Johansson plays this chick who by some freak accident gets to use an increasing amount of her brain power, and the results are fantastic. She got so smart she could even tell you what McDonald’s uses to make Chicken McNuggets. Because we all know it’s not really from this world.
But we digress. In my humbly enlightened state of being running felt fun again. We ran the first mile together as a group of four at about 9:00 pace. Then a young man drifted forward and picked up the pace. My companion muttered to me, “Go ahead. I know you want to.”
So I did. It’s been a while since I ran a little faster. And when I did, things fell even further into place.
It was fun running with this 20-year-old kid. We talked about his soccer career and how much it was fun to put a shot on goal. We traipsed along in the low 7s and it did not feel hard at that effort. I was looking around at the bergamot and chicory, the coneflowers and the day lilies and feeling like I loved to feel. I was running.
After three miles together the young man decided he needed a break. His wisdom teeth had just been pulled a week before and his jaw was starting to ache from the increased blood pressure.
So I fist-bumped him and said thanks, but I was going ahead.
There is no feeling on earth like running well again after a prolonged period of injury. You really feel free. Yes, I might not be as fast as I was 20, 30 or 40 years ago. But I’m proud of my years. I can still run as fast as most people out there, especially in my age group. And I have the times to prove it.
But the greater gift in all this is being grateful for the ability you have to do what you can do. It’s all relative. Even world record holders slow down someday.
The birthdays keep coming, and that’s a good thing. Especially when you keep moving in between those humble little events. The cosmos smiles on you if you’re grateful.
May you enjoy the same. And Happy Birthday to me.