We turned a corner and then down a decline to a straightaway along Oak Harbor. The water was blue. The sky was bluer. And the mountains beyond were snow-capped and magnificent.
I focused on my steady breathing and the cadence of my foot steps.
I smiled big because it was all just beautiful. I felt great.
This is why I run.
For moments like this.
It was sunny. I felt like I was running with ease. (Sure, it was around mile 5 so there was ample time for things to turn for the worst — which they did, but I’ll give you the whole half marathon race recap later).
And, the beauty of it all brought me back to Natalie. I really felt like she was with me for that section of the Whidbey Island Half Marathon.
Since Natalie wasn’t a runner and I wasn’t that big on running back then, we never ran together. We were more the walks-around-Green-Lake-friends. But, I’m glad that I still have her on running/racing days like today.
I may not have finished with the time I had hoped for and trained for — and I know I crossed the finish line with a scowl rather than a smile — but I am grateful for that one mile that made me smile.
It’s the closest I’ve been to her in a long time.
I can dissect this race bit by bit and mile by mile and say “I did this wrong” or “I didn’t do that right” because since I didn’t PR, I know I can do better. But, for now, I’m trying to get over it by focusing on one of the positives of the race. The glorious day and being able to be out running in it.
Thanks for the beautiful weather, dear.