The Faintest of All Starlight

The Faintest of All Starlight

I was restless. I needed the endorphin rush. But more, I wanted some kind of permission to distance my brain from the world of Excel spreadsheets and high-pressure projects. For once this week, I didn’t want to actively think about anything. I just wanted to be.

I needed to mull over problems that are simmering just below the surface, yet present enough to unbalance my world. Or, if it so happened, I needed to be free to just not think at all. I craved the relief of the late-summer smell of Georgia. I wanted to sweat and I just wanted to fucking run.

I went to my spot. The paved trail is 99% flat, safe to run alone and it was still light out anyway.

I set out with a goal of 6 miles, but decided to go at an easy pace and listen to my body. Mile 1 felt really good and hit right at the 11 min mark. I smirked and thought “Yep, mission ‘turtle pace’ accomplished.” But I didn’t kick it up. I just cruised.  At mile 2, something went funky with my Nike+ app and the lady-voice who announces the run stats cut off mid-summary. Not paying the glitch much attention, I kept running on auto and got lost in my music, my thoughts (or non-thoughts) and the setting sun against the trees.

After some time, I realized I hadn’t heard much from Nike Lady and looked down at my phone in the arm band – Whoa. I was at 4.5 miles! I guess she decided to stop telling me when I hit a mile marker after she bonked out on the word TWO.

Great. I knew I needed to turn around and head back to my car. I’d far surpassed the point at which it would have been a neat 3 out, 3 back and figured I’d probably hit a wall at 6 miles and have to walk the last bit.

So I turned around and went with it. I accepted the silence from the app and just ran. My thoughts weaved, ebbed, flowed and oozed. I didn’t pay attention to what was running around in my noggin. I just kept my breathing in check and my pace steady. I did a quick self-analysis and figured that I couldn’t have held a full conversation but I wasn’t dying either. But then, you know what happened? My music app stopped playing too, right in the middle of an Imagine Dragons song. The nerve.

But I went with that too. And without the pumping music or the competitive drive from the Nike lady, I could take in the frog chirps and cricket calls that I was previously drowning out. As I kept on my way, same pace, same mentality, I delighted in the fireflies that were coming out in the dusk. They twinkled in the distance on the edges of the path, the faintest of all starlight to shine my way back.

I finished out the run with a smile, all the way to my car and then went a little further… just to make it to a neat number.

It figures that when I finished, the Nike lady hollered out aggressively, “7.5 miles! 1 hour, 22 minutes and 3 seconds! Average pace,10:56 per mile!”

A grin cracked across my reddened face. Hardly speedy, Peach… but you did it.

As I was stretching my legs, leaning on my car, dripping with sweat but completely cleansed in mind, it hit me that yes, sometimes you just need to run. But other times the world gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

Peace. Quiet. And freedom among the fireflies.



I’m taking my fireflies and putting them in a mason jar and heading over to the Moonshine Grid with Yeah Write. Come join me.


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The Faintest of All Starlight

14 Responses

  1. <3.

    Since I didn't exercise today, I especially love this. I feel like I was right there with you.

    Nette August 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm #
    • You were, Nette. xox

      50Peach August 19, 2013 at 8:12 am #
  2. Awesome. Way to turn a simple run into a great contemplative piece. And I guess Nike+ and your music know you so well as to adjust to your needs. They should patent the technology asap!

    Daniel Nest August 18, 2013 at 8:18 am #
    • Brilliant. I think you’re on to something!!!

      50Peach August 19, 2013 at 8:14 am #
  3. It’s good to listen to your body and know when you need a break. The run sounds perfect, I’m glad it worked for you.

    Michelle Longo August 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm #
    • ..With a little help from the universe. :)

      50Peach August 19, 2013 at 8:15 am #
  4. Loved this! As someone struggling to like running and barely making an 11 ish minute pace, I feel mostly like a failure. But this gave me hope and more, gave me a taste of what running-love could be like. Also? Gorgeous writing. I’m glad everything broke. :)

    Kirsten August 19, 2013 at 8:34 am #
    • Thank you for this lovely comment, Kiki. You know you’re my derby-warrior, badass mamajama inspiration, right? Mmmkay, good.

      50Peach August 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm #
  5. Obviously, I love this. You just never know when the universe is going to give you exactly the kind of run you need at exactly the right time. There is something amazing about running either as the sun rises or as it sets. Those magic hours make you feel like you are the only person in the world. It’s runs like these that make us keep on running.

    Samantha Brinn Merel August 19, 2013 at 10:35 am #
    • Yep, I hoped you would love this one, Sam! But let us not forget those runs that the universe hands us a swift kick in the rear of humble. Both are educational, but I definitely prefer the former! :)

      50Peach August 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm #
  6. Holy cow, that’s a long way! I usually make it 2 miles – 3 max – before totally pooping out. I don’t even time myself, because I don’t want to get depressed. 😉

    Natalie DeYoung August 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm #
    • Hey, nothing wrong with running just to run and listening to your body. It’s what you make of it! Psst – I’m really a turtle, I swear. 😉

      50Peach August 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm #
  7. What is running? I don’t think I’ve ever familiarized myself with the word. Noun or verb?
    Ha. I loathe running. Every aspect of it. You’re awesome. I would’ve slowed to a walk if Imagine Dragons stopped playing. Forget it.
    Really though- I think I can do a 20 minute mile. That’s my record.

    Carrie August 20, 2013 at 2:50 am #
  1. RunSpiration | 50 Peach - August 26, 2013

    […] Sam of This Heart of Mine – I met this lovely gal through YeahWrite and share with her a love of running (and Peanut Butter Cheerios). What inspires me about Sam is how she treats running. Running to Sam is privacy, comfort, and a time for just herself. She is never boastful or prideful about her accomplishments – that is not what running means to her. Sure, I bet she strives to improve, but she’s not loud about it. I found it awesome that we each posted about a particularly poignant run experience within days of each other. (Hers + Mine) […]

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