Saturday has become my usual day for doing longer runs. Today was no different: I got up at 6:30am to run 10 1/2 miles.
It was cold and quiet on the street. As I began, I wasn’t in the best of mental spaces: my head was distracted by concerned thoughts and general malaise, some run-of-the-mill head trash taking me out of the moment. I looked forward to finding my groove, but my head was complaining, “Man, I don’t really want to run, this is hard!” My legs felt heavy, my body cold.
Once I got onto the trail along the river, I noticed the fog. Lots of it, all around me. I felt enveloped in it. I couldn’t see ahead of me more than about fifty feet, and the river to my left was completely invisible behind it.
This visceral and sensory experience brought me powerfully into the moment. I started taking pictures with my phone. I was so interested in capturing what I was seeing that I had to remind myself to stay focused on running!
I felt as though I was in a magical place, the landscape transformed by a thick layer of still translucence. It was quite a lot more interesting than the nonsense going on in my distracted head!
A blanket of invisibility surrounded me. I knew the path, yet I could only see ahead in small increments, the fog slowly revealing my whereabouts as I ran. Several times I guessed where I was, and several times I was wrong. In a charming and innocent way, pushing forward became an act of faith.
Ultimately, I found my groove running in this early-morning dream world. I appreciated being there to witness it, and I appreciated the reminder of how important it is that we let the beauty of the natural world reach into us and move us.
It certainly did so for me today.
Side note: During my 365 Day Blogging Project I wrote about running in nature several times: