Every runner has one. That pace where you can simply eat up the miles, cruise up and down hills, and effectively put yourself on autopilot. While mine has been getting slower over the years, it’s still nice to have a day like today – where I expected to run a sedate five miles and ended up doing eight because I’d slipped into that comfortable, seemingly effortless rhythm.
I’m lucky enough to live in a place that has a vast network of single-track trails that are exclusive to pedestrians and equestrians. These trails radiate outward from, and run parallel to, the spine of the Santa Cruz Mountains and offer a welcome respite from the frenetic pace of the valley below. Cell phones don’t generally get connectivity, the trees overhead foil GPS gadgets and the small vertical offset of the main trail muffles the whine of motorcycles racing too-fast along the highway.
So today’s run was not only a chance to enjoy the unseasonably lovely weather, it also gave me a chance to sift through the jumble of projects and activities that are all fighting for attention. A long hour purposefully spent prioritizing and working out a plan of attack for the next round of deadlines. Exactly what my body and my brain had been craving.
Tomorrow we head off for the Sierra for a last hurrah before diving into the new year. And, now that I’ve had a chance to sort things, that path forward is a bit clearer. Can’t wait to clock in another five tomorrow.