I SUPPOSE I SHOULD THANK MY CATS for helping me get in my run Sunday morning. To finish in time for church, I needed to be out the door by 7:15. But when I woke up and glanced at the bedside clock, it read 7:10. Figuring I’d missed my window, I settled back in for another hour of sleep. But our cats had other ideas. They’re accustomed to breakfast at 5:30 on weekdays, and in their little feline brains, service was long overdue.

Grudgingly I got out of bed – I have cat breakfast duty on the weekends. After doling out the gruel, I happened to look at the oven clock – 6:50! So I had time to get the run in after all. Having reset my expectations for an afternoon run at 70 degrees, I had to mentally readjust to running right away at 49 degrees. After several minutes of self-debate I got dressed and hit the road for 18 miles, with stops at miles 6 and 12 for water and a runner’s gel.

Diana says she knows a great way I can express my gratitude.

After six miles, the sun came out full and I shed my jacket. Conditions for the last twelve miles were perfect for running, and I was now grateful for choosing the morning to run. And while I was in the mood, I also took the time to be grateful for the other things that allowed me to be out there – for being healthy enough and strong enough to run, and having the freedom, both political and economic, to do so. It wasn’t a specific prayer; I just let myself experience the feeling of gratitude for a minute or so. I recommend this practice. It does a great job of making minor discomforts disappear for awhile.

Also with today’s run, I passed 1,500 total miles since I began logging running miles in 2008. What I find amazing is that nearly half of them have come this year. Assuming I stay healthy, I will likely reach 2,000 miles by next spring. Who’d ’a thunk it?

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