I have a greater respect now for people who train for a long race and work full-time. I work part-time, but have worked all day the past two and have already been challenged to find the time to run. Tomorrow will be my third full day in a row to work this week, and I will have to wedge a run in between work and the evening commitments I have.
With that said, I did run on Monday, and it was a most wonderful day for running! The temp was upper 40's, no wind and mostly sunny with a few clouds that looked like feathers left behind by an immense bird. I ran to Avalon and Bebo serenading me with inspiring songs. (Was thinking, among other things, about this: You have two headphones, one in each ear, on either side of your head, but the music is playing fully and evenly inside your head. Not a little on this side and a little on that side. You don't hear it as sound tumbling down a little tube into the center of your head. It's just all there...in...your...head. God understands what I'm trying to say.)
I ran 3.5 miles and felt great! It was an encouraging end to my "weekend" which extended into Monday. On Sunday afternoon, I was privileged to stay the night at a monastery or spirituality center, which it's now called. I've been before and was long overdue for another stay. My waking hours there were spent reading, journaling and praying. I could've easily stayed another day...or several, but I was there just long enough to let the din of my busy life quiet just a bit. I would've loved another day or two to really savor the solitude. But, I'll take what I can get! It was wonderful! If you long to get centered, I highly recommend an individual spiritual "retreat."
As I write, I realize that the next best place of solitude for me is when I run. I typically run out on the rural roads by our house, where there is a lot of open space and cars are few. I often get lost in my thoughts or music or prayer. I do some of my clearest thinking and have my most inspiring thoughts while running. It's no wonder when I don't run regularly that I tend to get grumpy. So I guess I'm recommending running too, as an option for a mini-spiritual retreat.