The Long Run

My week begins on Monday, despite the compelling argument my husband has made on the subject. And it clearly seems I’m the odd man out among the masses, despite the fact that even Sunday was a day of rest after a long week of creating the universe in the beginning of time. Why would one begin the week with a day of rest?

For me, the week begins with the shortest run of the week, which was 7 miles this time last season, but just 3 miles this season. The long run was on Sunday last time, but our favorite long-run-day-restaurant isn’t open on Sunday, so this season’s long run has been moved to Saturday followed by lunch at Lulu’s on the patio.

This week there was also . . . an urgent run on the shoe store when I realized my old pair wouldn’t last one more week. . . a new water bottle with room for a snack because I got so hungry in the middle of the run last week that I thought I’d die, and. . .  a last minute update of my husband’s phone settings when I realized the Australian version of Siri he had been using might send me over the edge when we set the alarm for 5:30am.

I’d like to be one of those souls that can roll out of bed and go for a run, but a good amount of time is always devoted to morning coffee before my day can begin. The dogs wouldn’t get out of their beds on the long run day this week when we woke up in the dark to have our morning coffee.

My husband reads the news during morning coffee. I catch up on email, and research whatever topic is top of my list. Once I’ve gathered myself together, I eat breakfast, brush my teeth, put on my new shoes (despite my husband’s warning), and head out for the longest run of the week.

Most folks want to know what we runners think about for hours of running. Sometimes I solve the world’s problems, or my own. Sometimes I decorate houses, or write a post in my mind. But these random thoughts are typically sandwiched between long intervals of absolutely no thought whatsoever.

Sometimes I keep a count of the number of dogs that reach my ankles (5 this week), how many piles of poop in the road must have come from a bear (1), or how many dead animals I must jump over (4). I’m surprisingly conscious of what appears to be poison ivy along the edge of the road and doing my best not to let it touch me anywhere, although this was the week I was forced to jump into the middle of the ivy to avoid a last minute collision with a truck and the ivy drooping from a tree limb swiped me across the face.

Music usually occupies the silent, thoughtless moments, although this week I listened to the sounds of the creek until mile 9, which was also when I ate the peanut butter crackers I had stashed in my new water bottle even though I had smooshed them trying to find a comfortable way to hold this new bottle. And even though going to the bathroom one more time is the last thing I do before leaving the house, sometimes all I can think about is finding a good spot for an early potty break, which came along at mile 4 this week when I used a couple of large rocks to jump down the creek’s bank below road level and back up again.

The shoe strings of those new shoes were adjusted twice, the water in my little bottle was gone long before the run ended, and Lulu’s was closed due to air conditioning problems.

I’ve always said that life is a lot like training for a marathon, and you just never know what’s going to happen during that long run.

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