A tiny update: feeling better, and a kindness.

I had some trouble getting to sleep last night because I couldn’t stop coughing, but when I woke up, I felt pretty okay, and thus felt also okay with my plan to run. Because it was horrifically humid out, not to mention said cough, I took it extraordinarily slow, but damned if it didn’t a) feel awesome to be out again [yes, I know I only missed one day] b) help me feel a ton better by the time I was done. I think tomorrow I’ll run my scheduled 5, taking it easy, but also skipping my regular gym session afterwards – that will allow me to a) sleep in a bit longer and b) focus my efforts on the run.

Next week, though, it’s back to lifting after my Tuesday-Thursday runs. I kind of miss my old-man friends there.

I forgot to put in my last post that something cool happened on my long Sunday run this week. I was in Richmond, where I ran my first marathon last year, and since I had a scheduled 18-miler, I decided to run parts of the marathon course because hey, why not? I’ve re-run one particular stretch of it a few times because it follows the James River and is flat and lovely, especially when the sun is rising over the rocks in the middle of the water. This stretch was part of the 18-miler I did, which also took me up a very long and gradual hill – and past the fire station where I got the hand-breaking-high-five from a firefighter last year – and then over a long bridge that allows some excellent skyline views of the city itself. For some time on the run, I thought I was completely alone; I hadn’t seen anyone for miles, and was enjoying having the road (mostly) to myself.

When I crossed the bridge, I pulled off the sidewalk into the shade to take a gel and drink some water. To my surprise, three men came running up the sidewalk not too far behind me. One went past, but the second slowed down, got my attention, and hollered: “Hey, GREAT RUN! I’ve been watching you for a while. Keep it up!” – and off he went. Someone followed not long after him, and it took me a second to holler “hey, thanks! Have a great run too!” – and then I immediately thought: Who is this guy? How long has he been following me? Have I really been having a great run? Huh, I guess I have, because I feel great. Hey, where’d he go? I want to catch up to him and be friends with him! I realized this was silly, so I finished my break and ran back on my way.

Three days later, I’m still thinking about what this random stranger said, because it’s really stuck with me; he has no idea how much those words of encouragement helped me (I was at mile 14, and really wishing I was done because I was hot and hungry and didn’t have enough water with me, oops). For the rest of the run, I kept thinking: yeah, great run! Great run! Badass, you got this! It sounds so silly, but it absolutely helped get me to the end of those 18 miles. So, thank you, large burly runner-man with awesome sunglasses, for your help. If I see you in Richmond again, I’m going to high-five you.

Random acts of kindness: they can go a long way. I’m not normally one to tie it to a particular day, but given that today is, well, today, consider passing one on to someone. Tell ’em it’s from me.

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