Running Happy

At lunch time I went for a run along my customary Brookline loop, a route which with a particular rhythm that I’ve grown fond of the last few months. After crossing Comm. Ave, the Allston Street hill quickly gets my heart going and legs tight, but then terrain levels out and eases up on me as I cut across the Break and Circus parking lot. Just as I begin to feel winded, the long downhill along Washington street tugs me toward the center of Brookline. If my legs feel good and I hit a feel-good song on the radio when I cross Beacon Street, I can often reach that heightened emotional state that all runners must crave.

Today I was lucky enough to get Stevie Wonder and Sheryl Crow just at the moment I began to loosen up, and I sailed for the reminder of the slow descent to School Street. The shear happiness I experience at these moments is always a bit shocking to a reserved Scandinavian type like me, but I let myself smile for no reason as I hit my cruising speed. And I today felt particularly lucky to be fit and whole and free to spend my noon hour running, the kind of feeling that can sometimes break into one’s thoughts on a Memorial Day afternoon.

Since I had some energy left when I reached Coolidge Corner, I decided to tackle the interminable hill of Summit Ave, the top of which offers a great view of Cambridge as a reward for the climb. From there, it’s a quick descent back down to Comm Ave, short jog back to Quint Ave, and a cool-down stroll up the hill to my house. The rush of happiness is behind me now, but the sense where I’ve been lingers as I walk up the stairs to my porch.