You would think recalling the days, weeks, months, years that I could not get out the door and run would be enough to overcome any moment lacking in motivation.

Hmmmm…not always.

I have learned over the years to distinguish the difference between my body telling me to back off and my head doing it. That doesn’t mean my head doesn’t try to convince me to blame my body, tell me not to push my luck and shout don’t bother putting running clothes on.

“No need. It’s dark out. You’re really tired. Cut yourself some slack.”

But I dish out doggie breakfast and head to the bedroom, put on running clothes, grab my shoes and head to the couch to put them on while Surry licks her bowl to gleaming.

“OK, OK, so you are going to run, but you can cut it short. Just go to the end of the road. 1.25 miles is all you need to do today.”

The one concession I have allowed myself since the race last month, which I have had a harder time recovering from than expected, is the elimination of the lunchtime runs until after the new year. But I also agreed that if I was going to do that, then Surry I needed to put in 3 to 4 miles on our sunrise outings. With the time change we are not in the dark for nearly as long, plus now I have the Noxgear Tracer 360 and better yet, Surry has one of her very own!

We head out the door, me still battling my head about the turnaround point. My legs are slow to turn over at this hour despite the fact that I would absolutely consider myself a morning person at this stage of my life – something considered laughable a decade or so ago. Surry gets her potty stops out of the way early. By the time we reach the end of the road I feel looser, more awake. Surry sits in anticipation of my desire to shake hands and then give her a treat. Which I do. I glance down the street toward the four-lane highway we need to cross to then run on another quiet street.

Surry’s gaze follows mine, but she waits for me to make the move. I look to her for guidance. Her bright eyes smile. She gives me another paw to shake. Laughing I hand over another treat and off toward the highway we go.

I can still hear the cars thundering up from North Carolina in the background, but the view of the now-cut soybean field implies a quiet and calm I let fill my head instead. The smell of freshly cut wood fills my nostrils as we pass by a new house being built.

This run, like so many others these days, wouldn’t have happened without Surry. I plant a big kiss on her wet slobbery nose as we walk back into the house just as it begins to drizzle out.

Thank you big girl!

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