I do not want to go for a run this morning when my alarm goes off at 5:15. Princess texts me at 5:20 that she isn't going to make it for the run. In diplomatic fashion, I text back, "Oh, you wimp. Let's go." She ignores me after that.
I am yawning as I meet my friends at the lake. We wear long sleeves in the morning air that hoveres in the 50-degree range.
It is dark again when we start, now that the sun is getting lazier and rising so late in the morning.
Dream Girl is still bald as she continues her chemotherapy for breast cancer. She usually lets her shiny head glint in the sun when we run, but she wore a hat this morning and wishes for ear muffs as we start.
We talk and talk as we run. We interrupt and chide and praise and laugh then laugh some more. We pause (from running, not from talking) at the 3.75 mile turn around while we drink water then we run more. And when we get back to the lake, rather than stopping at 7.5 miles, we run the 1.2 miles around the lake -- twice. So we ran between nine and a half to ten miles this morning and it wasn't bad.
As we go around the lake again, we notice artists set up, their easels open painting in the brilliantly clear morning air. They take in the trees, the lake, the clearest blue sky.
"The light is just like Provence today, isn't it?" I say to one artist and he nods in agreement.
After I finish, I stand facing the lake with a weeping willow obscuring my view.
"See," I tell my friends. "If you look from here, it is just like being in Monet's Garden." Which is where Earl and I visited in April, see the following picture as proof of the willow and the lake and the sun.
Dream Girl has started to do some calculations in her head. She has four more chemotherapy treatments. Her last chemo will be the week before the Columbus Marathon and half marathon. She thinks maybe she should do the half marathon to celebrate the end of her treatment.
"Great idea," The Queen of Privacy and I agree with her. Neither of us volunteer to run it with her. Of course, the Queen just ran a half marathon in April and she may be planning to run the full marathon in November. She doesn't like to commit ahead of time.
But the possibility of that half marathon is one of the reasons we kept running this morning rather than stopping at 7.5. When we finished the nine and half to 10-mile run this morning, it felt like Dream Girl could definitely handle the half marathon if it were tomorrow. The run felt good, but the therapy on the trail felt better.
These friends, who I see only once a week, are not there to say, "Good job" to all my choices. They correct me when I'm wrong and argue with me. These runs are good for my body and my soul. They take me to task when I've done something dumb and love me anyway in the end.
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