I’ve just returned from a 10-mile run. I have a bag of frozen peas attached to my hip, but other than that I feel pretty good.
I was sort of dreading today’s run. There’s something about running double-digit mileage that gets in my head and psychs me out. Even though I’ve completed two half marathons and am currently training for my third, the thought of running 10-plus miles causes me to emotionally become that chubby kid who always got picked next to last or last during school P.E. class. Even though my head knows I can do it, my heart isn’t so sure.
Today’s run started early in 25-degree weather. My attitude was not great. I’m tired…no, SICK TO DEATH of running in the cold. Regardless of temperature, the first mile I run is typically my worst while my bod warms up. During today’s first mile I was grumpy and cold. And then I saw him. My Mystery Man.
While training for December’s Saint Jude Half Marathon, I kept seeing this man out on the course. He ran twice as fast as me, and he was training for the full marathon, so it wouldn’t be unusual to see him several times during one of my weekly long runs. He always gave me an encouraging word as we passed each other. Until today, I hadn’t seen him since November.
Today Mystery Man noticed me before I noticed him. When I saw him I gave him a huge wave. As he got closer to me he stopped. HE STOPPED. To talk to me. It’s been my experience that people who are training for an event do not stop to chat, even for a minute. When I realized he wanted to chat I stopped as well. He wanted to know how I did at the St. Jude and I asked him the same. He was interested in what I’m training for now (The Country Music Half Marathon). He told me I’m doing great. I told him he’ll never know how much his encouragement meant to me. He told me he’ll me seeing me out on the course. He gave me a hug. All of this took less than 60 seconds.
And as I continued my run I realized I no longer felt cold.