Well, let's face it, my life will never be normal again the way that it was now that all three of my children have gone away to school, but it will be a new normal.
And one of those things that has been a staple in my life for years has been missing this summer. That thing is running.
Since Easter, I have been struggling with an injury. I tried walking and bicycling to give my foot a break. Then finally went to the doctor and he told me to "shut it down" for at least three weeks. So for three weeks during July, I sat on the couch.
Yes, try to imagine how grumpy I was with all three kids home for the summer, teenagers in and out of the house at all hours of the day, dishes and towels piling up, and me not able to run to get my endorphins. Plus, I think not running sped up the encroachment of menopause. It was a perfect storm of sorts.
We're lucky we all made it out alive.
Finally, a few weeks ago, I began interval training. I would walk for three minutes then run for a minute. I kept that up because it didn't hurt my foot and because I heard a story on NPR about the benefits of interval training with blood sugar and blood pressure.
This morning, I expanded my run. I ran for a mile then walked three minutes, then ran until the second mile and walked three minutes. I did that for four miles and ended up with about an 11-minute mile overall. Four miles in 44 minutes.
So that feels back to normal.
However, I did have a creepy incident this morning.
Now, the community where I live is very safe. I'm not alone out there even at 5:30 in the morning. I generally pass a police car about three times per mile, along with other walkers, runners and bicyclists.
But this morning, as I turned a corner, a car was sitting at a light. It stayed there even after the light had changed. I was running away from the car so didn't pay much attention.
The car eventually passed me.
As I turned onto the main road I run on, the car passed me going the other direction. It slowed down beside me, but I didn't look at the driver, just kept going.
A few minutes later, the car pulled up beside me. I was on the opposite side of the road, but the car stopped and the man rolled down his window.
"Sorry to bother you," he called, "but is this the right way to the library?"
Now, it could be that this older man, in his 60s, with white hair and a nice sedan, maybe a Buick, was actually looking for the library at 5:30 in the morning. I'm not sure why he would be in our little community going to the library.
But I said yes. "It's down there on the right." I directed him.
After he drove off, I continued running and saw some acquaintances walking their dogs.
I ran up to them and walked with them for a while, figuring there was safety in numbers and dogs.
I made it home just fine, but it is a reminder to be aware of my circumstances, even in a safe little Burg like mine.
Next time, I think I would take a picture of his license plate with my phone and text it to my husband. That just seems like a safe precaution in case I hear about anything else happening early in the morning in my little town.
I'll be careful, but I'll keep on running.
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