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...And Run by the Light of the Moon

A Short Story about a Long Run

By Shelley CarrollPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

The rule of engagement was as follows: in order to make it to work for 8 and still adhere to her training plan, Leigh had to be out running at 5am Saturday morning.

That’s ass crack o’clock.

At first, I played along and fully intended to join her. But that’s practically the middle of the night. So we compromised - she would begin at 5 and I would join her at 5:45. Then Warren jumped on board and committed to run with her at that unholy hour, so I was guilt-free.

I set my alarm for 4:55am - which, I rationalized, is sufficiently early by any Saturday morning standard.

But I was up, had my coffee, pooped, and dressed in layers. So I donned my headlamp and reflective vest, double laced my sneakers, and set out to find them on the mean streets of town at 5:30.

It was -20 degrees Celsius with windchill, but thankfully with very little wind.

The full moon was vibrant and still high in the night sky. The neighbourhood was well-lit and beautiful thanks to the moonlight’s reflection bouncing off of the snowy lawns of our little town, serving as a guide while I made my way towards my running mates on Robert Angus Drive. I may have been alone to start, but I certainly wasn’t lonely.

I slogged along, warming up my heavy legs. I located Leigh and Warren easily, spotting their brightly lit and graceful forms floating above the sidewalk near the grocery store.

You know that feeling you used to get in elementary school when you finally saw your schoolmates on the first day of school after summer vacation? That’s how I felt when I saw them, except I’m a bit longer in the tooth than your average student.

“Yay!” I exclaimed. They smiled and giggled in reply, even though they had to slow down a bit to adjust to my slower pace. If it bothered them, they didn’t seem to mind. In fact, as I apologized, they very kindly told me to shut up. It’s almost like they enjoy my company.

Poor bastards.

And from then on, the three amigos - or as we like to think, Wonder Woman (Leigh), The Unicorn (Warren), and Super Woman (yours truly) - heartily trotted along, pounding the pavement. We covered the kms sweating, laughing, teasing, venting and generally solving the problems of the world.

That’s part of our “thing” - and I venture a guess that it’s a common thread among many running groups and training mates. We “let it all out”, leaving it all on the road.

It’s therapy in the middle of the night. It’s blowing off steam so we don’t overreact with our partners, kids, or work colleagues. It’s being up to embrace the day before the rest of the world wakes up and takes a giant dump on our plans. It’s team-building and trust-enhancing and I dare say all of this transpires while we’re also working on our cardio-vascular capacities and burning calories. It’s a mind-body-spirit connection. And today, it also just happened to have included a full moon - without werewolves or crazies.

Unless we were the werewolves or crazies.

Time and mileage flew by and at 7:07 on the nose, I bade them farewell at the end of Leigh’s driveway. They’d each completed 22 kms. I still had 3.5 to go in order to reach my goal of 20. (Side note: when I started my run, I’d only planned on covering 10 or 12 kms at the most. But once I got going and the conversation kept up, I didn’t want to stop - plus I still had to get back home. And running on a cold morning is still infinitely faster than walking).

I took the long way home around the block, bolstered by the power of our little group’s enthusiasm.

We’d run by moonlight and watched the sun come up together. I vowed to them (and they agreed): it’s going to take a lot to piss me off today.

Thanks WW. Thanks Unicorn.


About the Creator

Shelley Carroll

Ms. Carroll is a 40-something year-old veteran public servant and mother of three adult children. She and her partner Hal live in Amherst NS with a sweet, anxiety-ridden rescue dog. Shelley loves running, red wine, and laughter.


Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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