This past Friday morning I set out for an easy 6 mile cruiser. Within seconds I knew it was going to be a rough one. Everything hurt. Literally. I'd lost my big toenail the night before (fallout from the LA marathon) and it was tender to the touch so every time it rubbed against the mesh of my shoe I got a little shot of pain. My lower back has been giving me a hard time (also since LA) likely from the combination of overuse and stress, and that was pulsing as well. And, finally, I'd done a really hard workout the day before so my legs were dead weight. Go ahead. Call the WAMBULANCE. I deserve it. In the end, I got it done, but it wasn't pretty and I hobbled slowly down my driveway, disheartened and defeated. Later that afternoon, I headed over to Lexington for track practice. Once the girls had warmed up and were ready to take off I decided to join one of my runners for a 30 minute cruiser both to keep her company and to attempt to shake off my morning experience. Because, you know, run more, feel better. Yea, no. My legs were still heavy, my back was still sore and the toe was still annoying me. I did my best to push through, hiding my frustration with conversation but in the end, I really just slowed my runner down in my quest for a runner's high that was never going to surface. Grrr. Once practice was over, I made my way back to the car, defeated yet again. The upside was that I was headed straight to the Cape to spend time with my family and in-laws for the long weekend. I made a commitment on that 3 hour drive (lots of time to think) to brush it all off and to embrace the evening with family when I arrived, not giving a second thought to running in any way shape or form. And as we usually do, we had a fantastic time together just sitting back, relaxing, eating good food, telling stories and listening to music. Eventually, I made my way up to bed, happy to shut it down on a such a good note. On Saturday morning I woke up revived and refreshed. My legs were a bit achy, but I ignored them in my quest for coffee. I poured myself a very large cup and sat back and relaxed as the house slowly came to life. The usual rush to make lunches, pack backpacks, and get to school on time was easily forgotten at the moment. Sure, I was going to hit the road eventually, but it wasn't on the forefront of my mind and that was such a nice change both in regards to mustering up the energy and finding the time to fit it in along with everything else. Around 9:30 I headed out for an easy 7 miler. The day was gorgeous, the air cool and the sun shining at full blast. My in-laws live in a hilly neighborhood and the start of every run is always a bit of a challenge but they also live on the water and the scene to my right as I walked to the top of the first hill was so surreal that it kind of took my breath away. I stood and stared for a minute because I could and then I was off. My first few steps were pretty creaky but with each stride things loosened up and I began to flow. My ailments from the day before were tucked away in the back of my mind and my focus was on the miles ahead. Aside from my breathing, there was absolutely no noise. Fisherman and clammers were already out; had probably been out for hours. Bikers were flying by. And I was smiling. Literally. I had a stupid grin plastered across my face that stayed with me for most of my run. I must have looked ridiculous. But I felt amazing. I simply needed to reset. To run for the joy of it instead of because I was "supposed to". I could feel the difference in every bone of my body and it felt so damn good. New day. New attitude. Better run. Pretty simple, really.