This morning I got up early and left my bed that was warm and cozy, shedding the sheets that had enveloped me for the past six and a half hours. I pried open my eyes to put in my contacts. Blinking a few times, they were in place. I pulled the long gray sleeve shirt over my head and peeked out the window. The dreary, drippy morning greeted me and I doused my face with cold water, making sure I wouldn’t crawl back into bed. I laced up my shoes and took a deep breath. With the shoes on there was no turning back.

I opened the front door and made sure the screen door didn’t slam behind me or catch my Achilles like it usually does. On the driveway, I waited for Claude to beep, beep, beep and find satellite. A minute later my legs were carrying me on the sidewalk, towards the intersection by the park. There is always a split second at that intersection where I don’t truly know which way I’ll run. Over to the nature path, or to the park where that leads to the small lake by the city college. It isn’t until I reach that corner that I decide which way I’ll travel that morning.

The fog was enveloping everything, like a slow moving monster. Cars were only visible by their yellow beam headlights shining through the grayness. The red light of the intersection ahead that lead to the park lit up the path in front of me almost guiding me there. As I ran, my eyelashes became damp with fog kisses and my my face, wet with condensation. Some passing might have mistaken those fog kisses for tears, but they were just drops that gathered and gathered and with every blink, a drop would slide down my cheek. The whole time I’m running and not even realizing that my legs are moving. I’m infatuated with the fog that surrounds me and the dampness in the air. The stillness of the morning that is creepy and serene and unique. I breath in the cool air and it burns my lungs in such a distinct way.

Under the cover of the trees at the park, I keep running effortlessly for once, and every now and then a fat drop of water falls on my shoulders and head from above. The leaves are crunching under my feet. Sometimes I go out of my way to step on a big, crunchy leaf. I don’t know why, since I can’t hear it crunch with my headphones in. As I’m looking around me, there’s barely anyone on the roads, many must have seen the fog and decided it was a nice morning to sleep in. The trees keep dripping on me and I notice leaves falling all around me. It’s borderline magical as the leaves here don’t change much in the fall. They go from greenish yellow to brown. They don’t have much color. The trees have leaves one day and the next day they are naked sticks.

I finally get to the small lake, I make a quick loop around and the ducks squawk at me and wonder why I didn’t bring them bread. They waddle to get out out of my way. I head back the same route I came. The roads are filling up with morning commuters and the fog is slowly billowing away. My whole face is wet with mist and my ponytail looks like a mop after cleaning the kitchen floor, a tangled, stringy mess. I round the corner back into my neighborhood and finally realize I had an effortless run. I never realized I was running. I was so distracted by the surroundings that the four miles that I just put on my shoes were almost a dream.

It’s those great runs, short and long, where you get lost in the moment and your feet just take you someplace, that you realize you are a runner and what you are doing is magical.


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22 Responses to Wonder-run

  1. Jose says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your run. It is those runs and that feeling those who don’t run just don’t get. Thank you for writing that.

  2. Kelly says:

    Those are the best!

  3. Stacey says:

    I loved this post!! Those are the best runs! Have a great weekend.

  4. Ben says:

    Ooh, you make running sounds so romantic. I better get my (bu..) self out there training again. I have a marathon date on feb 6. Love your post.

  5. Sounds like a faaabulous run!

  6. Allison says:

    Those runs are pretty awesome!

  7. Aj says:

    Wow, very moving post for those of us who are runners. I’m injured now and this makes me miss the freedom of running so much. :(

  8. chris says:

    Nothing beats a great run like that.

  9. Nelly says:

    Great post with all the descriptions! Your high school/college english teacher would be proud! These are the things that runners and people who venture outside notice. Smells and sights are oftentimes the best parts of a run.

  10. Missy says:

    Wow what an incredible description of your run! That is definitely what it’s about!

  11. Colleen says:


    You about made me cry with this one! Love it!

  12. Sweet and so evocative, both of THAT kind of morning and THAT kind of run. Awesome post. Had I read this a few days ago, I would have shaken my fists at the mean, sinus-infection giving universe (which made me miss my first half marathon and had me out of service for a month)… but I just had one of these awesome runs this morning!! Thanks for reminding me why I do this.

  13. Ginny says:

    As I sit here getting ready to head out the door for a 20 miler, I LOVED reading this. I’m looking forward to what my run brings today. Thanks!

  14. Jessica says:

    Excellent entry! This is exactly how all runs should feel.

  15. g says:

    Amazing… I’ve always said the best runs are the ones where I forget that I’m running… Hope you get many more runs like this one in the near future! :)

  16. Shannon says:

    Love this! So inspirational!

  17. I thought I was reading an excerpt from a book! So descriptive. Makes me want to go find a serene place to run!

  18. Sasha says:

    Wow! Loved this- you are a talented writer Danica!

  19. Marie says:

    This is why I run…

  20. the dawn says:

    i love your word pictures. i felt like i was running–effortlessly–with you. thanks for sharing such a great post.

  21. Hope you have many more runs like it! Thanks for sharing.

  22. LOVE those kinds of runs! Had one today in the snow!

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