Yesterday, I ran 10 miles. More than seven years have passed since I last ran that far. More than five years since an orthopedic surgeon implanted a donor ACL and repaired a torn meniscus. Before that, running was a staple meditation. Two sub four hour marathons, more 5ks and 10ks than I can remember and the better part of 16 years of runs through neighborhood street and local parks with my always ready, always willing lab/shepherd mix.
Then I had the surgery, and my dog died, and I gained weight. And the memory of 20 minute 5ks and 42 minute 10ks and seemingly effortless easy 10 milers became an anchor I dragged through every post-surgery jog/walk. I avoided mile markers and watches and timing and tried to just jog or even walk for exercise.