Running helps me to burn stress. I'm an overthinker and that's where I can overthink and it all just flows out and away, where I can usually get through my brain chatter to the little thing that is causing all that overthinking. But sometimes, life gets in the way and I don't get to run as often as I want, so when I do get to? I try to appreciate it. I hit the new blacktop road with the freshly graded road shoulders and headed out. Of course, as I was running up to this street, there was like zero traffic and when I finally reached it, that's when all the cars came. And then of course, when I was in the emptiest part of the road, the one furthest from other people, that's when the windowless panel van creeped up at a suspiciously slow speed.
I took that picture at the point where I slowed down and turned around. I'm sorry, but to me, that's the most inviting stretch of street for running. I went from being a treadmill runner to a track runner to a neighborhood street runner to rural road runner. I had running-addicted friends who told me there was nothing like getting out on the open road, and all I could ever think was "dangerous!" Remember, as previously stated, I am an overthinker.
But it just took a taste. One little stretch of the road that runs around my neighborhood. One little run on the asphalt (more forgiving than concrete, not as dusty as trails), with the breeze cooling me off and I was hooked. Well-cared for shoulders matter too, because I try to be a responsible road runner and yield to cars by running in the dirt and grass. And sometimes I have little choice because there are those drivers who see a person on their road as a challenge and they will allow no space. Can't we all just get along?
Anyway—here's the playlist from Sunday:
Aside from the few drivers who try to edge me off the road, running has introduced me to a greater community of others. No matter if it's a new runner or a seasoned runner, there is connection. Understanding. Support. Runners are a great group of people who are supportive and caring and that's a great thing to be a part of.
I met a fellow runner at my kids' school and found out about a great opportunity—a memorial 5K in Kingston on October 4 to raise money and celebrate the lives of Kelli and Kari, two young girls from Tishomingo who were killed in a tragic car accident this summer. The run kicks off at the Kingston High School Track and features a 5K walk and run, plus a DJ, lantern lighting and sendoff. The race starts at 6pm and the event runs from 5-8pm. Visit the RunSignUp site for details.