Last Wednesday I rushed through the 5p hour. I washed spinach (spring greens are showing up at our farmer’s markets – YAY!), cut strawberries ($5 crunch-berries from California which we have learned to enjoy), and prepped a chicken for the instant pot (I MISS NEW SEASONS). As I hurried around the kitchen I considered skipping running practice. I’d run the Skinny Raven Urban Challenge with David the night before.
The Urban Challenge is a fun Scavenger Hunt style race. It’s pretty much a party at Skinny Raven, the little running shop downtown. At 6p they reveal a map marking sites close-in downtown, with a few outliers. Runners have an hour to hit as many of the spots as we can in whatever order we want. We collect a raffle ticket (or 5 – the payout at the furthest site)at each location and run back at Skinny Raven by 7p. We deposit our tickets in the great raffle big bucket and then hang out to see if we will win anything. Skinny Raven has hosted two of these events so far this summer. The weather has been fantastic for both and we’ve covered about 6 miles each time as we pound the streets in hopes of winning a prize – they always have cool prizes from new shoes to water bottles to glacier viewing cruise to tees and free race entries. Alas, fun memories + good exercise have been the sum of our prizes. On Tuesday night David and I stopped along our run for a few minutes to watch a moose clamber out of Chester Creek, so there is also that. And mountains and water and cute baby ducks.
So by Wednesday night I was tired and I had some new sore muscles. But finishing dinner prep, I pushed back the temptation to just stay home and instead hurried to change my clothes. I grabbed my running miscellany and I headed out the door. Sort of. I kept forgetting things and so I ran up and down the stairs 2 times. The third time to the garage I chose the elevator back up and down again. Ugh. But in the end I got it all together and headed over to Central Middle School.
I joined up with other ladies already working through their warm-up and I jogged a couple easy laps around the track. It had been a particularly bumpy effort to get to there, but I didn’t regret it. Blue sky and warm sunshine softened the 60+ degrees. The track felt good beneath my feet and I was ready to work. We moved through our drills and on to the first tempo run. I was on a great pace as I rounded my third lap and looked over to the Chugach mountains rising above the city, cutting a jagged line across the sky. Oh God. So beautiful. Running. Breathing. And so very very grateful. To be in this moment. In this place.