Too many times I've had to resort to the "Holy crap! How am I going to get a run in today?!" run. A little over a mile. Close to home.
It's enough to count. Enough to keep the streak alive.
And sometimes, as far as I can go without feeling like I've been away from my kids too long. Like today.
I'm fortunate to have an escape, a refuge, just a half-mile from my house.
On these squeeze-it-in runs, the half-mile to the woods is usually not pleasant. I'm creaky. I'm cranky. I feel slow, old, and beat up.
The trail is only 2/10 of a mile. But if I double it up, turning around at the far trail-head, it's almost 1/3 of my micro-run.
For those few moments when I surrounded by trees, and the footing is soft, and every step is different, I'm not just getting a run in. I'm running to recharge. And it feels the way it's supposed to feel. Refreshing. Invigorating.
The short 1/2 mile home is part restorative elixir, part tease. As I glide along the streets that just a few minutes ago I was trudging along, I'm in no hurry for the feeling to end. Yet with the moving parts warmed and firing, I can't help but go faster and faster.
When I reach my driveway, I stop, reluctantly. I feel great, just as I knew I would, eventually, when I took those first hobbling steps in the opposite direction.
With my body refreshed and my spirit buoyed, the rest of the day always looks a little better.
And I have the woods to thank for it... for turning an obligatory run into a treat, day after day.
Numbers: 1.4 miles on streets, sidewalks, and trail.