I’ve had a few outstanding neighborhood runs this last week. The first was an 8-mile run across town, from my house to the Thorne Head parking lot and back. It was the first time I’ve experienced an easy 8 miles—or experienced 8 miles as an easy run. I ran around 9 ½ minute miles and they felt comfortable. I was tempted to scoot up the remaining half mile to the water (Goose Cove, I believe), but decided not to push it, having heard many times that it’s not a good idea to add miles to a running routine too quickly. The next day, I ran in the other direction, a hilly 6-mile out-and-back run. So much for the easy 8–this was a molasses run, and I felt every minute of it! Half way through, when I had almost reached the turnaround point, I noticed something in my peripheral vision. I looked over at Campbell Pond and saw a mature eagle—maybe the biggest I’ve ever seen—balancing on a razor thin sheet of ice. Open water perforated the pond, but he balanced, perfectly still, peering into an ice hole. While I watched, the eagle took off for his perch in a skeletal tree bordering the pond.
I love how running slows me down, how it opens up space for undistracted looking and listening.