Y’all we went on a run Sunday at Shelby Farms (my favorite place in the city) and I’m not even kidding when I say it was beyond EPIC. Beyond!
Let’s back up a bit. The night before we attended a 20th wedding anniversary at a Seafood restaurant. Not like grilled fish with a side of veggies seafood. Nope. A buffet, which meant one thing – all fried food. This restaurant, located nearly in the country, gets patrons from counties away. The food is that good. Sadly, not for this girl. I don’t do most seafood and in recent years I’ve discovered I don’t do buffets or most fried food, so I wasn’t too giddy. But I ate. No pigging out or anything, but I enjoyed myself. Then, there was cake. Damn cake. It goes without saying we knew Sunday’s workout had to be monumental.
That calorie fest coupled with a desperate need for a deep walk through nature, I knew the gym wouldn’t do. Only the Farms would suffice.
After a protein-filled breakfast, we laced up and headed out to tackle the Chickasaw trail, which is 2.75 miles, but we usually go farther to hit a solid 5K. Fishface, the ever encouraging one, suggested we obliterate the trail and run as much as possible to beat our best 5K time. Pfft. I had no interest in setting records. I simply wanted to tune into God, my breath and Pandora.
Without being melodramatic, I must say this day, this run changed me.
Anyone who knows me may slightly understand my unquenchable love for honeysuckle. I’ve even joked that I hope I come back in my next life as honeysuckle. I long for it to bloom all year, usually around Mother’s Day, and I relish every single day I have with it. LOVE IT! Because Saturday turned out mostly rainy and gloomy (which rained out our neighborhood yard sale for the most part. Grr.), Sunday morning remained overcast, which meant great things for me on this run.
This path, above, ignited every fiber of my being with its scent. Holy moly y’all, it was honeysuckle heaven! And because the sun hadn’t yet crept out enough to burn off the moisture, all the sweet goodness permeated the air. And my soul. Seriously, I think I died from how fantastic all of everything became in that moment. I had run up a giant hill (would never have happened months ago – could barely walk it without getting winded), and had already run a good bit when I got smacked with this beautiful aroma. It was a true gift after the week I’d endured. I tried to capture it with pictures, and with these words, but no justice can be done to describe it.
For the next mile or so, beauty sped me around the path, and all along the way honeysuckle peeped out and said hello. And my feet, my heart, my mind all synchronized. The life-changer hit when I realized it was easier to keep running than to stop and catch my breath. NEVER in my life. That was an odd discovery. Good God it was perfect.
But then…maybe because my songs weren’t captivating, or because I kept stopping to take pictures or because my mind wanted to entertain unwanted thoughts, the run got harder. Everything clouded up. Though I kept running more than walking, and I finished the whole 5K, I didn’t feel as high as I had felt at the beginning.
I finally stopped running and walked back toward Fishface, where he filled me in on his Runkeeper stats. Turns out I ran, unofficially, a 39 minute 5K. 39 MINUTES. Cluttered brain and picture-taking all accounted for and I still pulled my fastest 3.1 miles to date. We both did. If you’re keeping track, that’s four minutes off my fastest time. Haha. I can’t even type that without smiling and giggling. That is amazing! I’m elated that I’ve come from 56-some-odd minutes to 39. Not to mention that is the first time I’ve ever run so much of that particular trail.
The Honeysuckle Run absolutely cleansed my soul with its sweetness. I found strength on that run that I so badly needed – mentally, emotionally, physically. God filled me up in those miles and reminded me that I can do anything. I can run. I can be strong. I can be better. And I’m forever thankful for that reminder.