About that easing in period. It takes awhile, I guess.

My timing for jumping back in is pretty poor. It’s not like things have let up a bit, or I’m twiddling my thumbs looking for another activity. Like all of you – like everyone – things are so busy. Not in a glamorized busy kind of way, just matter of fact. Worse still (in the spirit of keeping it real), I moved within my office a couple months back and my new work space is hyper-public and not super conducive for privately typing away in this little space when the mood, free moment, or epiphany strikes. I’m trying, though, and aren’t we all just doing the best we can?

On the drive to my parents’ last week for Thanksgiving, a group text buzzed back and forth. Was anyone running in the Turkey Trot the next morning? Anyone up for it? How much? $25? $30? Is there a free t-shirt? With a family so big we constitute or own field at any small town running event, we decided to nix the organized race and meet up for a boardwalk run/walk instead. 10:00ish. Come one, come all.

Gotta admit: I was kind of nervous. NERVOUS! I had days before passed my 10-year run-iversary and was well on my way to almost a month out of practice. November mileage: 26.2.

Luckily, Thursday morning was spectacularly beautiful and I was in great company and, to cut to the chase, we ran five easy miles to tip my monthly total just over 30. Some hard work, I tell you. 10 or 15 of us showed up to the boardwalk (have I mentioned before, our “boardwalk” is like literally boards ya walk on, not the carnival-type) and while most headed south for a walk, four of us went north to run (a longer straight stretch instead of doing the back-and-forth thing).

Leigh and I ran together — to reintroduce my cast of characters, you’ll remember Leigh as my virtual training partner, my cousin who lives in NJ — and two of our cousin, Dan and Owen (brothers), started with us, but then took off to do their own thing.

It felt so good to run so comfortably and alongside someone so easily. So at ease. To catch up and ramble and debrief our New York races. There have been some road blocks and hurdles and hurricanes across our family recently, too, so we talked about those. I’ve written before about how running creates such a safe space and once again, it’s true. There’s a security and comfort in talking honestly while looking straight ahead, not having the pressure or weight of looking someone in the eye.

I wore capris, I think, and a sleeveless top, peeling off my top layer in the first half mile and then basking in the late November sun. Unexpected, but welcome, right? The weather as much as the run.

Gratitude. Sometimes it really bowls me over. Oftentimes in hindsight, though in especially just-right moments there’s no mistaking it. For health, family, a strong body, a happy soul. For sunny Thursdays, stretch pants, and a passion its so easy to tap into: just lace up and go.