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A Not So Fun Run

Since Sunday’s run went so well, I felt quite confident setting out on Tuesday. Silly me.

I had spent the afternoon at work feeling the warm temperature, watching clouds come and go, and pondering my life for the week. With only twenty-four hours in the day, ten of them devoted to work and a certain number (rarely high enough) to sleep, one can’t do everything one would like. In the army there was always some officer or NCO ready to intone the mantra, “Time management,” as if it were some magic formula that actually increased said 24 hours. Of course, they never gave the formula or even any specific organizational tips. I’m sure they did what I do: NOT everything.

That was a digression (sneaking in a middle-aged musing, I suppose). To get back on track (appropriate for a running post), I chose to run. I noticed right away that it was warm and humid. Of course I had been noticing that all day, but now it was emphasized.

I saw a young man run down the street I intended to turn onto. I thought briefly of turning the other way, then decided not to flatter myself. There was little chance of my catching a pedestrian let along a young man running.

He was dressed in black. I don’t like to dress in black on the bright, sunny days. I get too hot. I had searched my drawers for a large, white shirt. I found a Hummel’s Office Plus t-shirt we had purchased at a rummage sale at our church a few years ago.

It was soon clear that this would not be an easy run. My legs acted as if they had never run one step ever in their lives and I was ridiculous for asking them to. I wondered if this was the difference between running in forty degree weather and running in seventy degree weather. Then I thought it was more likely the difference between running in the morning of a day off and running after ten hours of work.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s how to persevere through a difficult run. I started looking for things to mention in my blog, to distract myself. I saw a lady walking a dalmatian, a beautiful dog. They were on the other side of the street, so I could not ask to pet the dog, as I like to do. I was pleased that there were no puddles, especially as I ran down a section of Caroline Street where there is often a deep one. My bunions have been saying rain, but they often say that a day or two before it actually does.

Soon I was having trouble with my breathing. Nothing too serious. Only, with my sinuses it is next to impossible to do the “in through your nose out through your mouth” thing they say you’re supposed to do. My throat dried out in an uncomfortable fashion. I experimented with breathing through my nose. No good. I remembered that a friend had recommended concentrating on my exhale at times like this. Make sure I’m getting rid of the bad air to make room for the good. That seemed to help. I wished I had run toward the spring so I could stop for a drink. I thought about the bottle of ice water I had waiting for me on my deck and was encouraged to keep moving.

When I was almost home, I passed a couple of ladies with kids and dogs, pushing a four-seat stroller.

“Is there room for me in that stroller thing?” I called.

“There is!” one answered. “I’ll give you a piggy back — you look like you’re working way too hard!”

“I’m trying!”

She started to say something about being an anti-runner, but I was past before she finished. That’s the trouble with these running conversations; sometimes you miss the good parts.

I managed to keep running for my set length of time. I thought that was pretty good of me. I confess I spent a good portion of my run saying, “Each step is one more step I can make on the Boilermaker.” I know it’s a difficult run when I notice each step.

But you’ll have difficult runs. I could say something profound about making it through difficult times in life, but I think we all get the idea. Maybe that could be some of my half-baked philosophy for Lame Post Friday.

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