"When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love"- Aurelius
I awake to sunlight filtering through the blinds, the fan blowing slowly at the end of the bed forces me back under the covers where it's warm but I know I must get moving.
Up to the kitchen, bare feet dancing across the cold linoleum floor, start the coffee. The smell of the beans begins to wake my senses.
Fill the hydration pack, water, gels, blocks, not sure how long I'll be out so load it up. Hand held filled and packed, check the temps, sunny but chilly. Tights, windbreaker and gloves though I don't end up using them.
Point the car to the east and head for Afton, music loud, sun shining bright, coffee brings me back to life.
By the time I make the turn off the highway air drums being played, music louder, whole body buzzing with the thought of a morning of trail running.
Park, pull on my pack, sunglasses, visor, leave the gloves, start the watch, drop down the first hill to the stream. Body slowly loosening up, long strides down the hill, arms helicoptering at my sides for balance, hit the straight away and slow down to ease into it.
Back up a hill to the prairie, sun warms my face while a cool wind chills my body. Circle the prairie until I find the path back down to the streams. Turning into it I let my body go. Warmed up now and feeling confident in the firm ground I focus on letting my feet skip over the rocks, hopping little holes & washouts, a smile works its way across my face, feet reacting before I can even think to tell them what to do.
Hit the bottom, smile even bigger, feels great to be back out here skimming over the stones, smelling the grass and trees.
Pass a few people coming towards me on the next stretch. Everyone with a smile on their faces, which are rosy red from the chilly wind, or the sun, I can't tell.
Hit some muddy single track, still slick from the snow melt, feet slide out from under me as if I were on roller skates. Shorten the stride, slow down, and stay upright.
Rolling into a ravine I see a couple kids and their parents crossing a dried out stream bed by climbing on a downed tree. Looks like fun but I'll save it for another time, there's miles to chase and sun on my face, can't ask for much more.