Sunshine makes me happy

Oh, how I needed this morning’s long run with friends. Group therapy, as Julia called the 7:30 a.m. meet-up that Katherine routed as two 10-mile loops around downtown and Boardman Lake, and a couple of stretches along the Bay. I ended up running 14–a bit more than the 12 I’d planned, but I just felt so good. Bonnie, who is training for the Bayshore half, ran 10 while Karen, Katherine and Julia went for 20 given they’re running the full marathon that takes place end of May. Though a  chilly low 30 degrees at the start, the sun was shining and by the time I finished up my final leg, temps were run-perfect: 50s. The pace was just right, too, at about 9 minutes/mile. No pain in my left leg or knee at all. Amazing. What a gift. Most of all, the run was awesome because I was with friends. It was just what I needed. A soul-satisfying way to mark my final long run before Boston.

I’m feeling especially grateful today. For a run that left me smiling, and also for the simple things like a steaming cup of coffee, sunshine in the sky, a three-day weekend…this past week was a stressful one, for various reasons. Nothing monumental, nothing that so many other people don’t also deal with in their daily lives. I found time to run three other days this week, but even these didn’t lighten the mental load I was carrying all week long. I’ve got some decisions to make about work, and while in my heart I know everything will work out the way it should and all will be just fine, contemplating such matters while trying to stay on top of everyday life with three busy kids and a husband and a house just can take a toll. But today–today I am choosing gratefulness and thankfulness. And keeping my eyes on the road ahead.

We leave this coming Friday morning for the East Coast. The plan is to head out early in the morning and arrive in Connecticut, where we’re staying with my best college friend Jenn and her family for a couple of nights. Sunday morning we’ll all head up to Boston. I’m thrilled beyond words that Jenn, a longtime runner herself, will be there for me as I run this marathon. With a full-time teaching job and two young children — 4 and 1 1/2 years old — I am so, so in awe of her willingness to bring her family to Boston to take part in this adventure with me and my family. Having never been to Boston before (and never having run a race in another city with my family in tow), this is sure to be quite an experience. I look forward to sharing it with you all!

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