This past Wednesday it was 97F with 40 mile per hour winds! It was crazy. A number of the county roads in Sherburne County were closed due to the low visibility. Dust, dirt and debris was blowing off of farm fields leaving a coating of dirt and dust in its wake. Our house is surrounded by trees. I had my windows open and came home to a layer of green pollen upon everything!
I had my women's group in Edina to coach Wednesday night. Our head coach had sent out an email to all participants that they should carry water and take it easy for our run.
We have three different levels in this group: newbees, wannabees and gottabees. The wannabees, whom I coach, were to run 45 minutes without stopping. We decided to take a new route, tiring of the laps around the usual lake. We decided to run out to Lake Cornelius; about a mile to Highway 100, via shaded neighborhoods, over the highway and then to Lake Cornelius. I was a great route. The park around Lake Cornelius was full of families picnicking, many people biking and running, a game of baseball..many Minnesotans out enjoying spring. Thank goodness!
I ran along with my group, enjoying the hot sun and nice stiff breeze. I love to run in the heat, but not many of my group felt the same way. Every once in a while I'd duck under a sprinkler that was watering a thirsty lawn. As I came up to Highway 100 I looked back and checked on the final runners of my group. They were doing well, running along, enjoying the evening run. I stepped in with the final runner, making sure she was OK. She was, she was just not sure that she would be finished in 45 minutes, in time for our speaker. I told her it didn't matter how long it took us to go around the lake and get back to the school. Just enjoy the run, enjoy your surroundings, enjoy the beautiful lilacs in bloom, the tulips, the rhododendrons, the birds singing. Take pride in the fact that you will be running 45-60 minutes tonight without stopping. Your longest run ever! When I looked into her eyes I could see doubt. Take your mind off your watch, off being last, off of any negatives. Just think positively. Enjoy yourself. She ran along the lake, taking in beautiful nature. I told her some people don't like to talk while they are running; I was OK with that. If she felt like talking just let me know. We ran in silence.
45 minutes in and we had about 15 minutes to the end of the run. We meandered through the neighborhoods of Edina, making our way to the school. She said she could probably walk faster than her run. I told her that her run was just fine. She can run for an hour at 97F without stopping, she can run in any form of heat now! We reached our destination. I patted her on the back and told her to give herself a pat on the back. You did it! You ran an hour! When she looked into my eyes, I saw it there, I saw her pride-in herself! This inspires me.