The end of the year is a time for reminiscing, so it was fitting that my run on Saturday spurred me to think back on runs past. Phoebe and I were up in Seattle, visiting my two best friends from college, including Kati, my roommate on a summer of 1987 study group in the then-U.S.S.R.
As I set out on Saturday morning, I didn’t have much of an agenda—no tempo or speedwork, just an easy 45-minute tromp in a new-to-me setting. My hosts had suggested I run to the “beach” and that sounded good to me. As I took in the gorgeous panorama, enjoying a long downhill, I thought about the summer Kati and I spent in Moscow and the three-times-a-week runs I took there. Glasnost was flowering, but Westerners still didn’t enjoy free reign. But those morning miles gave me glimpses into the daily lives of Muscovites.
The Seattle skyline prompted me to remember running in San Francisco, where I lived (and ran) for eight years. In particular, I thought about a run I did with my friends Kate and Elizabeth when we were training for an adventure race (we went on to win the women’s division rootie-toot-toot!). We had ridden our bikes over to Tiburon, and then we ran a loop there with stunning views of Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, and the rest of downtown San Fran.
Snippets of countless other runs flittered through my at-ease mind as I ran along the West Seattle waterfront. Even the steady, mile-long climb up from the beach didn’t diminish the joy I felt on my Saturday run. Maybe it was the delight of a new setting or maybe it was the memories, but it was one of my most enjoyable runs of 2007. I look forward to tapping into that kind of joy many times in the New Year.