Twenty miles is a long way to run…..the most given response I get from people is that they don’t even like to drive twenty miles. I agree, I don’t like to drive twenty miles either; but I sure do like running twenty!
HOWEVER! Today was the toughest long run I’ve ever almost not finished! Luckily, I’m still far out from any race that I may even consider doing, could play the ‘I’ve been injured card,’ and have run enough to know that some runs just blow!
I wasn’t thinking this was going to be anything but fun. Montana was safe and having fun at her Zoo-Olympics and Mother Nature was giving me a great temperature, and a cloud covered morning to do nothing but run. I’d already packed our picnic lunch, cleared the remainder of the day for mommy-daughter time, and had dear friends coming in for the weekend. So, getting in my long run on Friday was a dream-come-true……….the running Gods had other plans.
Four miles into this dreamy run I knew it was going to be more like a nightmare. My legs were heavy from an increase in miles, my lungs were burning from trying to get back from my months off tending to my (well let’s just call it a pain in my a$$), and my head was all over the place.
I was glad to be on my own, because if I didn’t like my own company today, I was sure nobody else would either.
At about five miles in I was negotiating with myself that I guess I could stop and try again another day, when I saw the first of the DIA, outdoor traveling prints, that I was going to use to distract myself from my own icky-thoughts. This first painting, The Recitation, is an outdoor adventure with literature, ladies, and fireflies! All favorite things. I snap a shot because today I’m running with my phone in the event that Montana needs me to get back to her at her Zoo-Olympics camp. (Mommy duties always trump anything else.) I tell myself that my Tulley Toes have led me to this outdoor art and today must be a day for running to see ‘the art’ outside and to just, ‘get the miles in.’
Despite the clouds still covering the sun, I felt they had lifted a bit and I began to settle in to what was bound to be a site filled twenty miler……with a potential, ‘time on my feet,’ that if I was using a time based training plan for a measure of a successful day, my time would indicate that I had rocked the work-out (because it was apparently going to take me THAT long to finish).
I found three other outdoor art pieces from the DIA scattered about. I stopped at each one, stretched, drank, and then kept going. They really are great thought provoking pieces and served to keep me happy and distracted on this long journey.
Along my slow and steady journey I was also presented with many opportunities to engage with the ‘present’ around me. One lady, opening her store for the day, had a load of bags balanced while trying to unlock and open her store door. Without a stutter of my step, I stopped, took a bag out of her arms, helped her get inside, and then started running again. I helped a mom lift her stroller up over a street curb as she enjoyed a walk outside with her new baby. I high fived every kid out on a camp ‘nature walk’ and stopped to take a picture of a shiny new penny that had landed face up on the sidewalk for me to find! Stuff a bus with school supplies for kids is going on and I passed by the bus. Another visual reminder for me to look on the bright side……these were all things I could help with. It’s really never all that bad when you can find yourself in a position to still be on the helping side of life! I even found a dollar on this seemingly treasure of a run.
As I metaphorically ran into another wall with about five miles to go, I realized the wall I was coming up on was that of the brick gates leading into a cemetery. Here I was feeling sorry for myself and working my way through this ordeal when I got the message loud and clear that it could be so very much worse! I could be in there.
So I made a choice to do what any soul-searching runner would do…..I ran around it twice. Just to make sure I got the message!
We make choices to do each of the events in our life on a daily basis. These choices can either lead us towards greatness, sameness, or bleakness. Even when traveling on a cloudy and dark twenty-mile journey, there is light shining down on what is inevitably meant to be seen. Keep your eyes open.
I click off the watch with two miles to go. I know where I’m at now and the last two miles have to get ran because the Zoo-Olympic medal ceremony for a smiling five-year-old, is the final golden view on my journey……..AND, there’s a picnic to be eaten…….
Groovy Girls Go……..Long, Even If It’s Hard And Far