Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ecstasy and Ivory

This morning, like most, my guys are all sleeping. My husband, my two sons. My daughter is off in the Bahamas, and I have the luxury of reflecting on my girl time. That's what I have every Saturday morning when I gather with my friends and we run. We laugh, probably more than we run. Words tumble over each other as we all share our week, our emotions, our lives.
This is a picture of all of us when we attempted a hiking trip. It wasn't as successful as our runs are, as far as accomplishing the hike, but it was definitely successful in allowing us to spend time together.
Any problem or joy I have, I can take to the trail and know my friends will commiserate or rejoice with me.
The run yesterday (8.5 miles)involved a couple stops to remove pebbles from shoes (Najah), a bra flash that was probably seen by a dozen cars travelling along the nearby highway (Noreen), and an insistence that we make it all the way to the halfway point before we slowed and drank some water (Pam). Well, and the sprint at the end (me). I just think it is wrong to run 8.5 miles and not be breathing hard at the end. We run slow enough the whole way that we can talk and laugh. If we pushed ourselves to run faster, we could finish sooner, but who wants to leave friends sooner? So we run slow and talk, but at the end, we've started sprinting. My friends complain about it, but I notice they do it anyway.
The end of our run yesterday included a lap around the lake because we needed another mile. So we turned off the paved trail and took to the dusty path that goes 1.2 miles along the serene lake. As we turned the corner to reach the deck, Picabo and I crossed a grassy strip to run on the paved trail. Najah and Noreen stayed on the path. The incline (hill) at the end loomed ahead of Pam and me while the lake path stayed more level.
"I think this is where the sprint starts," Pam said.
I started lengthening my stride, feeling my thigh muscles stretch out. I felt powerful. After I reached the top of the hill, I let gravity keep pulling me down the incline and Pam continued to sprint, passing me. I ran until we both stopped beside the deck. Noreen and Najah joined us.
"That was so cool," Noreen said. She didn't have the energy to sprint, but Najah's stride lengthened and she began to sprint. Noreen felt Najah's energy pull her along. We were all breathing a little heavy as we returned to our cars.
After last week's near injury for me, my friends had discussed what they would do if I couldn't run.
"If I were injured, I'd bring my bike and ride along," Noreen said.
Pam said the conversation last week was, if Paulita can only walk, we'll walk. If she can only stand, we'll get together and stand. I guess it's really not about the run at all. It's about the friends. But luckily, we could all run yesterday.
Saturday's run included spotting a deer with an extremely long tail (could it have been a dog?), incredibly ADD conversations that were always caught up in diversions before they returned to the point (sorry Naj!), and a surprise reunion with one of our old running buddies (Yikes! A toad! said Richard as he leapt into the air like a male ballerina). We laughed at everything and nothing.
I love my running friends. They keep me sane.


Richard said...

It was very good to see you guys on the trail but seriously, you have got to stop framing the toad incident as an 'Eek, a mouse' and more of an incredibly athletic maneuver to avoid hurting one of God's creatures!

Just Me said...

Least we be accused of not telling the full story ...(and using your words)... "we also fuss about absolutely nothing and everything"
Can't wait til the weekend !

Stephanie said...

Technically, I was "modeling" my sports bra for, umm, "Jana?"...the intent was never to "flash".

note to self: refrain from modeling intimate apparel while running alongside a major thoroughfare.

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