There are times when I find myself in a running rut. This year, the rut seems to have lasted quite a while. We have had some amazingly cold days, where running just feels like a slog. Let’s face it, I do not live in the best of neighborhoods, so if I start my run from home, I am limited in where I can go and a drive to a trail requires some planning.
Twice this winter, I have traveled to visit family in Southern Caifornial. Each time, I commit to running every day I am there, as I tell myself this should free me from the boredom and allow me to run in shorts in the middle of the winter. My last trip a week ago was no different. I planned to escape from my rut and enjoy some Cali sunshine.
The first run I did, I left my parents house and decided to run a different direction than I normally do. It was raining and about 60 degrees, and I was getting weird looks for jumping in puddles in shorts, while the Californians sported their puff jackets and umbrellas. Ben and I ran down a busy street, where we were watching for cars at every intersection, to eventually meet up with a path that ran alongside a bus route. About 3 miles in, I realized that we had passed one other runner and the majority of other people had ignored our Colorado courtesy wave. About 3.5 miles in, Ben waved at a guy walking by, and he instantly geared up with a loud clearing of his throat and gushing in his mouth to spit at us. That’s right… spit at us.Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been cat called, honked at, yelled at, growled at, but spitting? That is a new one to me! It took about two minutes of running and some serious brain power before we both realized what had happened. In fact, I think I am still processing what exactly happened…
The next day, Ben and I ran from my brothers house and explored some awesome neighborhoods… not without being looked at suspiciously… again in our shorts while everyone else wore puff jackets. Truly, despite all the weirdness of the prior day, running in California in the middle of the winter was an awesome thing to be able to do.
A few days later, after seeing some very sick people at work, I was running one of my normal routes in Colorado, it occurred to me that everyone I passed either nodded or waved. I made it to my turn around point and was instantly struck by the way the sun was setting over the mountains and the way it was reflecting on the local “creek.” How often have I missed this? I realized in that moment, I have no reason to be stuck in a rut. I have two legs that allow me to run, healthy lungs and heart, and eyes to see the amazing creation around me.
I know I will struggle with this in the future, but for now, I know without a doubt, Colorado is where I am meant to be.