Outrunning the Sun

Most nights after Atticus nods off for the evening, I lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement. Typically at this time of the day, the sun is slowly starting to set. A bright orange glow of beauty positioned perfectly at eye level. So to counter potential blindness, I’ve turned my evening run into a game of sorts. A game I fondly refer to as “Outrunning the Sun.”

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Our neighborhood offers a wealth of options for running including gravel trails, well-paved sidewalks, and a winding asphalt pedestrian road that cuts through the heart of the community. Every night when I set out, my route is a blank slate waiting for me to etch out the miles as I see fit. I weave in and out of the shade always trying to keep the sun at my back.

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In these moments of switchbacks and zig zags, I find myself lost in the beauty all around me. I am often in awe of the sun’s reflection on one of the numerous lakes in the neighborhood; admiring how the deep orange color on the quiet lake resembles the stained glass windows of a church.  Other times, I am mesmerized by the cloud patterns overhead as the sun’s rays break through with the radiance of heaven.

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Outrunning the sun has taken on a deeper meaning for me as this game has gone on for almost eight months now; a game that began shortly after Atticus was born. It’s my time to lose myself in thought, in nature, and in solitude. Quiet moments for reflection, after all, are rare for a mother of two with a house full of responsibilities always waiting in the wings.

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My run usually concludes just as the sun has dipped below the horizon signaling the end of daylight and the conclusion of another busy day. Drenched in sweat, cheeks bright red and flushed, I smile to myself knowing that tomorrow evening I get to do it all over again.

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