I never got around to blogging about last Sunday’s six mile run/walk. It was a long story and I shared it with my online running group so I guess it’s validated that way. I got in a couple more 3 milers after work this week. I’m still having trouble with my feet; the arches ache so much when I begin and it’s not till mile 2 is done that I get much relief so it’s a challenge to make myself keep trying. But I have a goal. I’d really like to do the 10 mile Crim race at the end of August. Yes. This August. I used to run it every year and I haven’t been able to in the past three years or so. So I keep getting out there. Keep hoping.
Do you want to hear about my six miler this morning? I went a route I haven’t been for a couple of years. Figured it would be fun to see what had changed. In the end though I wasn’t really paying attention to the views, it was more about listening to my body, figuring out what hurts and what doesn’t and why.
The best, perhaps biggest news? My feet didn’t start out hurting! Maybe I’m over the hump with that. Instead of aching arches during my first mile I had the normal twinges; ankles, shins, knee. I felt like a runner! In fact I ran a whole 1/2 mile without stopping, I was so happy about the way my feet felt. I think that’s the longest I’ve run in 4 years. Yes when I stopped running and began a walk break I could still feel those pesky arches, but it was more a general fatigue, not a dibilitating ache. So I’m very very pleased.
Once I settled into the run I enjoyed the fact it was darn cold out. It’s in the 50’s here, which is perfect for running. Plus there was a lovely little breeze. We’ve had lots of rain so my dirt road was soft and there was virtually no traffic. Perfect. I had lots of time to think.
I thought about my parents a lot. Not the overwhelming grief of years past, just noticing a little flower Mom would have liked, or the new construction house that would have interested Dad. It’s been nine years now and I’ve mostly moved out of that dark place. For example I ran into an acquaintance couple this week. They told me it had been a rough year for them; his father became ill and died, her mother died too. I listened to their story and offered my comfort and condolences without diluting their pain with my own story. They’ve never heard mine, and likely never will. I’ve learned over the years the benefit of sharing a painful story, how the telling eases the pain. And I can listen now and offer support without having to share my own. It’s a good place to be.
In between thinking about my folks I convinced my self to run to the next sign, the next mailbox, the next corner. I made a rule to always run to the next red thing. Thank goodness there weren’t many red things on my route, just two mailboxes and a porta-potty in front of the new build. So that was six mandatory runs on my out and back 3 miles. Plus lots and lots more.
At one point I thought I’d run to the street sign. But as I got closer to it something in my mind suggested to go past it to that mailbox up there. “But that’s a long way! And it’s uphill!” “Yes, yes it it.” “Well OK then.” Once my mind got away with pushing me like that it tried to do it on every bit of every run segment. “How about to that mailbox?” “How about to the one AFTER that mailbox?” “Now STOP that!” “Only after you get past that street sign.” “Well OK then.”
I turned west at the end of mile 5, coming out of the dark wet green of the woods into the open next to a golf course. I saw dark black clouds and heard distant thunder. I still had a mile to go. Well OK then. Starting up the last mile, the last long hill I could see rain beginning near the top. The breeze picked up. I picked up my speed too. At the top of the hill I turned into my subdivision, back onto paved roads. I slowed and watched the way the misty raindrops made yesterday’s puddles dance. Pretty. Maybe this was just God’s way of providing a giant mister, like they do at the end of a long race, to cool me down. Well OK then.
I lifted my sweaty face into the mist and smiled. Another six done. I beat my time from last Sunday’s hilly six. And though I didn’t feel like I wanted to do any more miles right at the moment, I also didn’t feel like I couldn’t. My feet didn’t hurt as much as they have on previous runs. My legs are just typically fatigued. The 10 mile Crim race just might be doable.
Well OK then.