These days I watch runners. The barefoot ones, battling the deep sand along the ocean. The quick-stepped sprinters on the track. And on the trails the steady warriors with hydrations packs and big smiles as they climb and descend.
Yes, it fills me with envy. Since a minor surgery a few weeks ago I can only walk — which is wonderful with my new buddy Charlie. Mostly, though, I watch and learn. When I run myself, the focus is often on myself. On my breathing, pace, thirst, joy, struggles, footing. While walking there is now room to watch and imprint on my running brain the things I want to remember and emulate: they way he leans in a perfect angle, her light mid-foot landing, his easy stride, her impressive arm swing.
Soon I’ll be ready again for my feather-light La Sportivas, my GPS watch and Nathan bottle — ready for the mountains I can see from our bedroom. A little later, Charlie will be ready to join me on some easy runs there.
For now, we happily walk, watch, and learn.