Strictly speaking, it was a vacation. No one would have batted an eyelash if I’d said, “Nah, I think I’ll sleep in.” And maybe it’s just that I no longer have the physical ability to sleep in, as if I can hear the sun rumbling toward the horizon and my body just switches on. Anyway, I got up. We’d sort of agreed on it the night before.
Wake up, lace up, get the fuck out.
We stretched our old bodies and walked up the first sandy hill to try to get things moving, then we broke into a soft jog. The air was cool but heavy. I tried to breathe through my nose. The dirt road gave way to a narrow trail through a scrubby meadow on the beach cliff.
With stupid ultra-running behind me for the season, I was able to lighten the fuck up, just run with some friends. They said, “You can keep going if you want,” but what would be the point in that? It was just good to be out early and chasing the day a little.
We ran three miles, which felt, after the last few months, like a walk to the end of the driveway. I switched the coffee maker on when we got back, walked down the beach cliff and jumped in the ocean. The water wasn’t even cold. My body released its tension, and I floated there in the salty churn for a few minutes, then climbed out and walked back up the cliff to the house.
It doesn’t take much. Less than an hour. A little movement. Some friends. A quick dip. Coffee.