On my run today, I came across about 20 of these painted stones along the running path. It took me a few minutes to catch on to the fact that there was writing on them. Once I did, I stopped momentarily to see what was written. There were lots of encouraging messages, such as, “You rock,” and “You are special.” This one caught my attention, at first because I really liked the colors, which were beautiful in the brilliant sunshine of this morning. I took a picture of it so that I could show my family what I saw and so that I could remember the message. For some reason today, it resonated with me that I am unique. You are too. Everyone is. I wanted to be sure to hold this perspective for myself and for others.
Today is my birthday. I am 58 years old. My plan called for 11 miles, so that is what I did. My weekend runs are about LSD, or long slow distance. Slow means 1 to 2 minutes per mile slower than a typical run. The goal is the building of consistent endurance. I completed this run at a 5:1 run/walk ratio. I was happy with my consistency. In fact, the first three miles were all the same time. Form there, I ran mostly negative splits. I felt great afterward. As usual, I worked on form as much as possible, and I tried to increase my turnover rate as much as possible. On top of that, I tried my best to simply enjoy a gorgeous North Texas day with lots of sun. I did miss a turn, which allowed me to explore a street I had not run before. I knew where I was generally, so it was no big deal.
The rest of my birthday was sort of mixed – a great brunch with my family and a bit of a nap. It also included several hours with more of my family at the hospital, as my beloved brother-in-law’s condition worsened suddenly. Lots of discussing, waiting, praying, etc. He is doing a little better this evening. We’re hopeful that things have turned around for him.
My big takeaway from the day was some reflection on this next year. More on that later. I’ve got to get up really early in the morning.