Saturday, July 13, 2013

Running Across the States

This week, my family returned from our annual vacation at Lake Tahoe at Northstar Resort in my grandparent's condo. We spent a week of divine relaxation river rafting, jet skiing, swimming, river rafting some more, and spending quality family time together.

The only bummer of vacation up at Tahoe is the dreaded treadmill. Since my dad injured his foot and my mom and brother do not love running, I'm confined to the gym treadmill to log my 40 miles per week routine. I guess I can't complain too much- I was up in the beautiful mountains, watching the sunrise while listening to my favorite praise music (something I never do while running- except when absolutely bored!). However, by the end of the week, my body was aching for the pavement. I tried to satisfy its cries by doing some hill repeats and speed work, but my desire still wasn't quenched.

So, my dad suggested a run along the lake. At first, I was cautiously nervous about running by myself, since I personally don't think its smart, and am quite fearful of what could happen. Yet a run amidst he trees and along the lake sounded refreshing, relaxing, and just plain fun! Anyway, after a seven mile run on the treadmill for the fifth time, I readily agreed to a morning lakeside run. To make it more interesting, I decided to run from California to Nevada and back.  I mean, how often do I get to run from one state to the other?

The next morning, my dad drove down to 3.5 miles away from the California and Nevada border. Taking a deep breath, filled with excitement and nervousness, I took off. Finally, by that morning, it had cooled off, so much so, that my hands began to go numb. Yet my legs were leaping with joy for the feel of the pavement, that I hardly noticed. As I passed Kings Beach, I saw store owners stumble in to their establishments, getting ready for another busy day. 

At last I reached the dreaded hill that led to the state line. There was only one way- up. As I climbed the hill, I almost considered turning back before getting to Nevada, it was that bad! Yet as I rounded the corner, I saw buildings that assured me it could only be Nevada- casinos. With a great sigh of relief, I tagged the "Welcome to Nevada" sign, crossed the border, and headed back to California.

The way back was so much better, for not only did I have a glorious downhill, but also the pride of accomplishing my goal. Though it was a trivial accomplishment, I had a huge smile on my face as I completed the last 3.5 miles. As I gazed at the lake, majestically framed by towering trees, I was in complete awe of the beauty before my eyes. Rounding the corner, I came to the end of my run, exhausted, but completely happy.

It was a beautiful morning spent enjoying God's beautiful creation. I was reminded to be thankful for the ability to run. Even though it is sometimes painful, running is such a gift. My heart breaks for those who never get the joy of running, walking, dancing, and jumping. Therefore, I am thankful for the blessing I have to run and to enjoy it. What  could be better than my two favorite things, being in the mountains and running?

This trip to Tahoe was among my favorites and one that I will surely not forget!

* Yes, these pictures were taken after the run :)

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