The Second Half

Do you seem to run faster on the second half of a short out-and-back training run? I always do and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m dogging it on the way out or I’m hauling butt on the way back.

Or is it simply the way life is– we take our good ole time when we are young and fresh and time seems to last forever, until at some point, we get a sign that we are no longer as young or as fresh and we turnaround and head in.  And even though every step is harder,  things seem to speed up as we near the end of our run.

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For those of us at or near midlife, we are on the back portion of the out and back and life is moving along rapidly, calling us home.  The kid who was just in training wheels is now learning to drive a car.  The kid who just learned to read is now writing books of her own.  The delusion that certain things would last forever is acutely and painfully disproved.

I’m in no hurry to get there, but I’m not afraid of it either. What I’m afraid of is letting today go without appreciating it.  The final part of the run can be painful, weary, isolated.  Yet it’s every bit as refreshing, rewarding and important as the early, carefree moments of the run that seem like so long ago.  I’d rather finish with a strong kick than trot home dejected and spent.

From my bathroom window this morning I could see dead leaves hanging on the sycamore tree, just waiting to fall– and in fact I did see one tumble to earth– daring me to believe that summer was over.    If it is, it is. I can’t order the leaf back into the tree.

But, no matter the season, or whether i think I’m on the way out or the way back,  I can enjoy what today gives me.

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