Normally when I go to work on a Monday morning and co-workers ask me, “How was your weekend?”, I typically just smile and wink and say, “It was fine”. I don’t do this because I don’t want to tell them what I did over the weekend, but I like to filter the amount of running adventures I share with them. If I tell them about all the runs, their eyes start to glaze over or they get a bit nervous. My boss is mildly concerned that I might get hurt on one of “my runs” and have TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) . . .which makes for a poor project manager. One of my colleagues has a daughter my age and is a nurse . . .she just worries and reminds me to be careful. A lot. And to wear my sunscreen, bug spray, and don’t fall and make sure I stay warm and carry water. I can tell she cares.
But this morning, I broke my rules and told them that we ran all the runs. And then the words just spilled out like an over excited child who gets home from a particularly amazing day at kindergarten and wants to tell EVERYONE about EVERYTHING.
The story started innocently enough, but then it just got . . .well a little out of hand. I told them how I went with my run group, the Mad Cows, to Percy and Edwin Warner Park to run 9 miles of trails . . .at night. That was met with much concern. The part about running trails in the dark. I explained to them how there were a dozen of us, some who had little trail running experience, some who had never run in the dark. I told them how we raced up and down thousands of feet of elevation change through sloppy mud, slick ice, and beautiful snow covered paths. How we saw deer and armadillos, icicles, and forests by the light of our headlamps. I told them how beautiful it was to look out on the Nashville skyline when we stood quietly at the highest point in the park and turned off our headlamps and the only sound track that night was the whooping of fellow runners in the distance and the hooting of owls around us. I told them that the evening ended with flushed faces, no injuries, and amazing peanut butter cookies from a Mama Bear.
But then I didn’t stop there. I told how we drove home to catch a few hours of sleep before crawling out of bed the next morning to meet our trainees that we coach through the Fleet Feet Marathon training program. We ran the the beautiful country roads of Bell Buckle where we saw wild turkeys and bulls doing unspeakable things to cows. We met a beastly hound dog named Clyde who lopped along with us for 10 miles before he was finally picked up by his owner, and because every story has a villain, how we had our water cooler stolen when we left it out on the road to provide water for our trainees. And of course, more peanut butter cookies.
The best stories have a good ending. So I told them how we met a good friend on Sunday morning and went down to Virgin Falls to test our tired legs on thousands more feet of elevation gain, mud, and ice. I told them how I did a swan dive down a muddy hill. How we saw caves with soft bottoms lined with bat guano, icicles come crashing to the ground, fossils, and waterfalls. How we saw trees with the tell tale signs of being scratch up by bears. I regaled them with how at times we climbed hand over foot and up ladders to reach the top and see the vistas below. And at the end, we had run all the runs.
We had run all the runs. We were filthy and exhausted and starving but we had never felt more alive.
We had run all the runs and spent many miles with friends and seen things that we would never have seen if we had not left the couch.
We had run all the runs . . . and ate all the peanut butter cookies.
So, how was your weekend?