Trail mixed emotions

I still consider myself a new runner,  but I have had lots of firsts in my 1st year of running.
My first Santa run. My first virtual run. My first fundraising run. My first run in Newfoundland. (Yep. 10 k on ‘The Rock’) and my first real trail run. With hills and stuff.
I finished with a respectable time as I was racing against the time in my head. I thought I’d finish in 1:35. I’m either faster than I thought or I’m terrible at estimating. I beat myself by 15 minutes. My Toad run was a success. 1:19 for 12.5 km up hills and over the forest floor. I’m not fast, but I was really happy with that time and placed 73/240. I had a great day. The sun was out, it was nice and crisp and the trees kept what wind there was away from the runners. It was a near perfect day; near because nothing is perfect without my Behr.

Despite having this great day, I still get sad when I go to organized runs. I see couples and that breaks my heart, but I get sad anytime I see happy couples.
Not that John would run with me, but he’d be there when I finished. He’d hold my coat. He’d cheer me on and hug my sweatiness when I was done.
John was a champion cheerleader for everything I did. I didn’t realize how rare that was in a spouse until I lost him.

I also loved watching him at the Highland games. He, too, would compete against himself by keeping track of his personal bests. Sometimes he surprised himself. He started the games in his 40’s and I think improved well for the years he did it. He loved it. We did road trips to events and those were wonderful days. I know we’d be doing road trips together still, and for a very long time… basically as long as he could throw, volunteer or cheer on others.

He would have loved my new found running journey, and more road trips would have ensued for my events.
Would I have started to run like this if he was still around? I don’t think so. It started out as therapy after loosing him. It still is.
I’m looking at my sketchers Go runs, and they are getting rough. We’ve been through a lot, those shoes and I. I’m not sure I’ll ever get rid of them despite how worn they will soon become.
They’ve been with me through firsts I never thought I’d do. They keep my feet happy and pain free. They support me.

When I say running is therapy, it isn’t because I don’t think about John and his suicide because I do almost every time my foot lands. It just seems to be more bearable. The reward of finishing better than you thought you would over a distance is a tiny hug to yourself. Accepting that being slow in running, and in the healing journey is OK, because after all, the tortoise won.

Gotta run.

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