Sometimes I forget how much I love running. That’s because I don’t love starting to run—getting off my ass, finding a semi-clean sports bra, taking those first awkward steps when I haven’t figured out my pace and my bandana feels crooked on my head. But last night AK and I finally went jogging together after months of anxious deflecting (“I’m sure you’ll be faster.” “No, you’ll be faster.”), and I quickly remembered why I stuck out a whole season of cross country in high school, even though the coach was an ass.
I may have glowed out loud a tad too much, because AK politely indicated that she prefers a slightly less chatty run.
It’s cool, it’s cool. Soon I was too tired to talk anyway. There was only breath and pavement and the scary-thrilling rush of cars whizzing by the jogging path. Yellow-gold light from Tudor-style cottages reflected in the Silver Lake Reservoir as we looped around the lake, and I felt like I was jogging inside an off-season snow globe.
We ran by the dog park, where sheets of paper fluttered against the chain link.
“Oh no,” I said, “are those signs for lost dogs?”
“Don’t look, don’t look,” AK said breathlessly as she ran ahead of me. There had been too many sad pet thoughts lately.
On the second lap, a shaggy black mutt and a cocker spaniel raced joyfully in the same space.
“I love dog friends,” I said.
“So cute,” AK agreed.
And then we stopped and stretched and rested.