Can you believe it’s September already? I keep hearing people say that fall is just around the corner, and my mind instantly says, “Noooooooo!” But, I really do like fall. I love the cool, crisp weather and the colors of the leaves as they change. What I don’t like is the shorter days. Fall also means that winter is just around the corner! That’s one more thing I don’t like about fall. If we could have fall without having winter, I would truly be a happy Camper!
We have had a terrific summer. There have been a few hot days here and there, but we have not had any extended heat waves. We have not had any scheduled runs or races that have been canceled due to the weather. I’ve had a couple of runs in which the weather was chasing me and I was trying to beat the storm, but I still got my run in.
While loading our vehicle last week, someone slammed the back hatch down on my head. This resulted in my having to go to the emergency room and get eight staples put in my head. The ER doctor did not give me a lot of instruction as far as what activities I could or could not do, and at the time I did not think to ask about exercising. The discharge papers I received said as a general rule to take it easy for the next two days, so I did go ahead and do that and did some walking instead of running.
This summer I’ve been running with a couple of groups. One very small, with just a few friends, and another larger group that meets once a week. With all of these scheduled runs, I’ve mostly been running with a group all summer.
This past Saturday I found myself without a running partner, so I decided to run from home and run a route I hadn’t done for quite sometime. Looking back, I think it’s been nearly two years. After my ankle sprain, I think I may have gone up and over the flyover one time. It’s a hot route in the summer because there is no shade, so I usually avoid it unless it’s cool and/or cloudy outside. I had forgotten how hot it can be, so it was a much warmer run than I had expected.
Like I said, it has been a while since I’ve ran all alone in my neighborhood, so I had forgotten how nice it is to get out and enjoy the ‘hood. I had forgotten how encouraging people are along the way.
Less than a mile into my run, I met an older gentlemen that was walking. He said something along the lines of, “Way to go,” as I passed him. I went on and went up and over the flyover. It was like visiting an old friend. Somewhere along the flyover, I got a honk and a thumbs up hanging out of the driver’s window. I also met another runner on the flyover and we gave each other kudos.
On my way back, I met the same gentleman again except this time he had a lady friend with him. They were holding hands and he said to me, “You’re still at it!” I said, “You’re doing better than me; you’ve picked up someone along the way!” The lady friend chuckled as we all continued on our way. (The fact that I’m the slowest runner on earth is what allows these interactions to take place–another advantage of being a back of the pack runner.)
The last mile of this run was rough. I was not as prepared for it as I should’ve been. I had some time off the week before, it was a lot hotter than I had expected, and I had a head injury. But, the encouragement of the people I met along the way kept me going and made the journey a lot more pleasant than it would’ve been otherwise.
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.Isaiah 35:3