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The Lion, the Crane, and the Woodpecker

I am in marathon training mode and that means a delicate balance of long runs, speed work, strength training, and tempos. I had my long run early this week, 15 miles in the snow:) I did speed work on my treadmill in the basement, and I've been doing strength work throughout the week. But sometimes its not the miles and weights that I need, but rather a lifting of my spirit.

This morning, my run wasn't about the miles at all. It wasn't about speed or good form. It was about being fully present. It was about spending time with friends. It was about the lion, the crane and the woodpecker.

I met two friends at Seneca Park for a run this morning. For those of you not from the Rochester area, Seneca park is the home of the Seneca Park Zoo. There is a road that goes past the zoo, down to a pond where you can run loops and pick up a trail or two. It is a beautiful place to run, and you can get pretty close to the lions!

The bright snow lightened everything around. The frozen pond had a small area of unfrozen water for the congregation of geese. The lions were roaring a magnificent duet! In fact, we were able to get close enough to feel like breakfast! We talked about things I can share, like Christmas events and cookies, and we talked about things that will stay at the foot of the pond ;)

We ran, we walked, we hiked in the nearby trails. We saw a hawk make a graceful landing in a tree, a crane fly towards the river, and my favorite... a bright red-headed woodpecker giving us a beat to run to in the woods.

We ended up with 3 1/2 miles taking us about an hour to complete. This run filled my soul with such joy!! I'd say it was by far the most valuable training miles of the week!

You may also be training for an early 2018 race. You need to make sure you get your long runs and don't forget your speed work. But PLEASE, take the time to be present, listen to the sounds of the world around you, have much needed conversations with friends, and look for the lion, the crane and the woodpecker.

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