Saturday morning, I was supposed to run the JFK 20k. For a lot of reasons, I just wasn’t feeling the love. I tried to argue myself into it and just couldn’t. So I DNS’d it and went for a run in my neighborhood in honor of Meg Menzies.
There are many posts out there in honor of Meg. And they put into words what we all feel so much better than I ever could. But I need to process my feelings a bit as to why this runner in particular hit home.
I’m an urban runner. With the exception of one run a week, I run surrounded by cars. Even that run crosses roads multiple times. I cross major intersections. I run on roads with no sidewalks. I run surrounded by some of the world’s most aggressive drivers. I have been lucky. I’ve had plenty of close calls, but so far in every case, my awareness of my surroundings has kept me safe. But sometimes that isn’t enough.
Meg was doing everything right. And it didn’t protect her. That scares me more than anything.
So, on Saturday morning, I went out in my urban neighborhood and ran for Meg. Five miles on a cold, windy, but super sunny day. And I appreciated every step that I was able to take. I appreciated the cold that made my legs go numb and the wind that made my eyes water. I appreciated those roads that had no traffic. I used the pounding of my feet to release the stress and sadness in my mind. I took the time to think about all the good things in my life. I accepted that all that I had in my was five miles and rearranged my training plan to accommodate a lower mileage week.
And then I came home and hugged my kids. Because I could.