For the first time in about a month I laced up my shoes to head out for a long easy run. Nothing crazy, just 10 miles in slightly over 72 minutes. Officially, it is my first run in double digit mileage since last June. I had exceeded the distance on three occasions between then and now, but all at races. Like always, I ran with just my thoughts inside my head. No one to carry on a conversation with except for my self. I ran a familiar path and let my mind wander around to the forgotten corners of my brain, and in the process, started dredging up old memories from a not to distant past. From old races and workouts to the Sunday long runs where refuge was sought, the memories slowly surfaced, one at a time, until prodded away with a mental oar, making room for the next one to surface. Some of the memories were funny, some were painful, and there were some I wanted to forget. But as the miles flowed by, I couldn’t help but feel the growing connection with an old friend that I had long forgotten about. About four miles in I made peace again with my old friend solitude and finally gave into his ramblings. I let him set the pace and do all the talking. I let him direct my sight and mind as I proceeded down the trail. Most importantly, I let him forget the mental and physical pain of a long run for me. It felt great to reconnect with this old friend of mine. One that I can fully decipher and he to I. As the run ran its course, I let solitude guide me until I finished, thanked him for an afternoon of company, and went on my way.