This is one of those posts where I can't type it fast enough. I just returned from a pre-dawn 7 miler and the clock is ticking quickly towards another day of work. But first...
I have not been rattled like this often. Sometimes, things happen too many times in succession to be coincidence. This was one of those runs where more was going on than just burning calories and chopping off the miles. Above me was glorious splendor...countless stars were visible ... easy to see in the country where I was running. I just wanted to run with my head turned upwards at 90 degrees to stare at the show. I couldn't, though. MANY times as I ran along the berm of the road...well OFF the driving portion, a vehicle would catch a glimpse of me, which was evident by the sudden turn TOWARDS me, then cross the white line and seemingly try to take me out. Perhaps once or twice and it's just coincidence. Today over a short 7 miler, I can't tell you how many times it happened. Over and over again. You may ask if I was making myself seen or not. Yes, I was. A bright, white shirt from the Fools 50K I recently ran, reflective "piping" all over my Brooks shorts, and reflective piping on my Brooks wear-testing shoes. Did I mention I was OFF the road. I remember one specific new Dodge Ram truck. I know it was a new model based on the headlight design which I saw closely. I was a good 4 feet off the road and it still motioned and drove towards me. The worst of all was within a mile of home. I was starting to relax a bit from a startling run on a dark, quiet stretch and a late model truck with a lift kit on it was on its way down the hill...easily 10 over the speed limit. I am on the right side of the road...on the opposite side of the road that this truck was driving on. It sees me. It literally drives left of center and aims right square at me. Unless I was suddenly in Europe, this truck was not only on the wrong side of the road, but purposely coming at me. That one got me...bad. "What is going on this morning?!?! So much is trying to keep me from getting home! HOME! My girls need me...all three of them." After that last truck passed, I turned around and it returned to its side of the road, confirming its clear intention. Dang.
Returning home at the 7 mile mark at about an 8:04 average pace, my thoughts swirled. Just simply too many attempts at my life this morning to ignore and chalk up to coincidence. Since my return from Afghanistan, much has been thrown at my life...from so many angles, circumstances, people, etc. etc. etc. Still, though, I have kept my focus on the road set before me, stuck to my ideals, stuck to my faith, stuck to running the race set before me as I know it in my core it is to be run. Yet, time and time again there are forces out there...the seen and unseen that continue to derail me daily. This run was such a perfect picture of my journey since I stepped off the plane and what I seemingly face daily. "Something" unseen was clearly at work this morning and was trying a whole different avenue to try and get me to quit...to fail...to not make it home to the ones whom I love and care for. I will persevere, I will stay the course, I will not quit. Today, I choose to live beneath the magnificence of those stars and keep my focus where it should be. We all must choose our path each and every day. NO MATTER what our circumstances, it is a choice...a choice of free will. Choose wisely and give it all you have.
Run Happy...and run safely. Get home, friends. I did just as First Light began to illuminate the eastern sky. It was beautiful.