Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Routes and Silence

When my alarm sounded this morning, it felt a bit like a scene from Groundhog's Day.  Just as I did two weeks ago, I snoozed the alarm and told myself that I could run on the treadmill at naptime instead.  After the snooze, however, I felt a bit more coherent and remembered how dreadful that treadmill run was.  I survived, but I could live without repeating it again for a while.

So I dragged my tush out of bed and fumbled into my running clothes.  As I stepped out the door, the just-rained humid air filled my lungs, and I started wishing I was back in bed.  Setting low expectations for the run, I headed out and decided to cobble together a new-to-me route through St. Louis Hills and Southampton.  Ever since my run commute earlier this month, I've felt braver about trying out new running routes.  Last week, Emily and I created a new route on the fly, and last weekend, I ran to a new park.  All on familiar roads that I know very well, but ones that until recently, I felt unable to run upon.  The new route was a nice change of pace and gave me some extra pep in my step.

In addition to finding new routes, I've also been running without music lately.  It started as an accident rather than as a conscious decision.  With so many of my runs with Emily, I'm out of the habit of taking along headphones.  Now that I've logged a few non-music runs, however, I really kind of like it.  Sometimes it feels challenging to continue moving forward without the distraction of music or a podcast, but I enjoy the peace and quiet and the opportunity to listen to my own thoughts.  Though they are not always pretty, the miles with just me and the open road feel somewhat luxurious.  So much of my life is filled with chatter and noise, I appreciate the chance to unplug and revel in silence.

Such a wise man, that Thomas Merton.
A fragmented existence might be the kindest way to describe my life these days.