The Journey – 552.0 Miles, Peach Springs, Arizona:
Leg 0098 - Arizona DesertEight miles further along the A2B Route.  Another quiet, lonely run along dirt roads through the mountains south of the Grand Canyon’s West Rim.

The Run:
There was not any lingering pain in my left thigh from yesterday’s run. So I followed my normal stretch routine.

Mizuno Wave Riders 2Today’s run marks the official retirement of my second pair of Mizuno Wave Riders since starting the A2B Run.   These shoes have logged well over 500 miles of running making them a little past due for retirement.  (I like to switch shoes every 300-350 miles.)

This has been a particularly good pair. Regardless of the abuse and wear, they have stayed supportive and comfortable all the way through, which is important.

Running shoes are not all created equal. (Neither are feet, apparently.) Each runner has to find a brand and style that works specifically for them.  For one runner, the wrong shoe can be the source of a steady stream of aches and injuries. The same pair of shoes will work perfectly for another runner.

For the past few years, I have used the Mizuno Wave Rider exclusively. They work really well for my feet and stride.  This is one instance where I agree with “better safe, than sorry.”

I am eager to get out there with a new pair. Stay tuned for the unveiling of the new shoes tomorrow!!

The Mind
While stretching this morning, I thumbed through all of the usual social media diaries and commentary.  Somewhere in the middle was a status announcing the passing of a good friend from college.

She had been battling brain tumors for several years.  An update a few weeks ago communicated that the final round of treatments had proven ineffective. So today’s announcement is not a surprise.  Still, it is quite sobering.

I decided to run without music to pace me.  I needed solitude and solace.

In recent years, an uncomfortable number of friends from high school and college have passed away. As a result, I am undeniably aware of my own mortality and, more importantly, of those that I love.

I pondered the word “mortality” for a few miles while running.  I have heard that word all of my life.  Its meaning has shifted all throughout.

In my youth, mortality seemed an abstract theory.  Even on the occasions when someone close to me passed on, the concept of scarcity of days still had no meaning.  Calendars had no end.

As the years and decades passed, time has come to hold more value.  Not only has its value increased, but the standard to measure times worth has changed. For the better, I think.

There was a period where I raced time to advance, achieve, and acquire.  At other times, with family and children, I marked time by events such as births and birthdays, school and sports, recitals and religious ceremonies, etc.

Now time is more focused on ‘doing.’

Recently, after an evening professional networking event, a few of my peers and I stuck around to enjoy dinner together.  Somewhere in the table talk, people began talking about things that each one had on his/her “bucket list.” Each filled their lists with what they wanted to do. Likewise, they spoke of the people which whom they want share or do each item. Always a spouse, significant other, children, brother, sister, parent, cousin, or best friend.

For me, the list is a mix of things that I need do to unleash the music inside of me and things that I want to do for / with my children. There is a lot of world to see! A lot to do and experience! A lot to share!

Though still a little subdued, I finished my run happily remembering my friend and her last few years here.  Gratefully, her life is a vibrant example to live and love while the day lasts.

Well done G! Thank you!

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