There are run days, and then there are good run days, and then further still, there are great run days.
I’m the hippy-dippy type that thinks that any run is a good one; any time you can break your inertia, lace up, and take to the pavement for a jaunt, an excursion, or a quick up-and-down the block, is better than a day when you can’t. Perhaps in keeping with my groundlessly optimistic viewpoint, weather has little to do with whether a run is good or great or simply a run: rain doesn’t bother me, cold doesn’t bother me, hell, I’ve even run in the snow (which northerners would scoff at as no big deal, but here in Atlanta, that’s a delightful treat akin to finding five dollars when you’re out for a run — which I’ve also done). Heat… well, we can talk about the miserable heat-and-humidity runs of the South another time, those provide a special misery all their own.
So even though weather can’t dampen my spirits about a run, exceptional weather can sometimes make a run exceptional. The temperatures are dipping pleasantly here this week (lows in the 40s), which benefits the runner tremendously. Skies have been clear, too, with hardly any humidity. What that added up to at 5 AM was a cool three-and-a-half miles in just over a half hour, under a blanket of stars that you don’t see too often ’round these parts.
Living in the suburbs has its advantages, sure, but I do long sometimes for the wide open spaces where the night sky presents you with a few thousand stars, rather than a few dozens.
But even the favorable gleam of light from the infinite doesn’t account for the uplift I’m feeling. To be honest, I should be feeling like twice-run-over garbage; every human in my house has been fighting flu-like symptoms for the better part of a month, and the condition recently surged to give my wife and I both a couple of sleepless nights. Sprout #2, in particular, has handled the settling plague with all the grace of a toddler getting knocked over by a tire swing.
So why did today’s run feel so good?
Maybe today, the stars aligned in a way that was beneficial for my mind and spirit.
Maybe it’s the draft I just finished — the one that’s been on my back like an angry monkey for the past 8 months.
Maybe it was the gallon of snot and phlegm my lungs expelled during the run.
Maybe the construction on the roads in the area has lined my lungs and brain with asphalt particulate and I’m hallucinating the good vibes.
Or maybe I just really needed the run.
One way or another, this morning’s miles were great miles. And it’s a second day with no looming deadlines, projects, or even, really, thoughts about writing.
So here I am. Not thinking about writing.
And … writing about it.