After the run today, instead of getting directly into a cold shower, I went out on the back porch and just sat in the rain. It was a slow, relaxing rain at first, but then the Ice Cream Truck came by playing its song, and this was somehow dramatic, a cue to the rain for more intensity. As the music faded, the rain seemed to slow. Then the wind started blowing harder, and the little palm by the big oak tree started thrashing. For a moment after all this had happened, was still happening, I looked down at the pavers under my feet and just observed the rain drops coming down. So peaceful. And the skies then opened up and poured out the last big bucket of rain for that hour.

I sat there in the rain and felt content. I felt that sense of quiet I talked about a few weeks, or entries, or whenever ago. Like when you listen to an orchestra closely with real intent, you can pick out any instrument you choose and hear it singly, while still hearing the entire ensemble. That’s how my senses operate when I’m quiet inside. I can focus on the wind blowing the palm tree 4 feet to my left, still feel the splash of almost every raindrop on my skin, and hear that Ice Cream Truck song. All in great clarity and all at once; no distractions from what is happening directly, presently. Maybe a lot of people can have experiences like this without running 16 miles beforehand, but I guess I can’t. I don’t want to change.

It seems like I’ve peeled away a layer of pretense from my writing in the past few days. I’m getting down to bare feeling and emotion, rather than just spewing out stats about my run. It makes me happy, because I know it is a result of the practice, or the ritual. I sit down every day and I faithfully write, knowing that to write is the only goal. Not to write something great. It almost makes me weep when I think about how long I stepped away from this practice because it makes me right, just like running does. And it doesn’t hurt my feet. Sometimes we need to say what we’re grateful for, just so we don’t forget how important it is. I suppose that’s what I’m doing here.

It’s an afterthought now, but still, I had a good run today. 16 miles at 10:32 pace. 5 min. run/1 min. walk. I listened to City and Colour for the first 12 miles, then it started to rain pretty hard so I took my headphones out. Very evenly paced run. Disciplined. I had a little discomfort in my right ankle, but it was just a sock and shoe alignment issue, easily fixed. Overall, my legs feel good and the day off on Friday was well received.

I’ve decided to stop doing the “Gear” part of these posts. It’s dumb. I wore some running shoes, a funny little backpack, two watches, and some sunglasses that are basically Ray-Ban knockoffs. This is pretty standard at this point. Oh, I did wear a Buff instead of my hat today and it was pretty good, but I think it might be a little hot for any other day. Today was way cooler because of the rain and the clouds. Tomorrow is 14 miles.

The photo is from the Bay Pines pedestrian bridge. I love the mangroves and the bayou.

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