Friday, June 26, 2009
Sensations From Our Run
After a night of heavy rain and lightning flashes across the sky, we met at the lake at 6:30. Well, some of us were there at 6:30. Noreen was delayed by a rainbow. "A backward rainbow," she called it because it was in the west when usually they're in the east, but I pointed out that what was the east to her was west to somebody farther east.
The temperature was in the 60s so it should have been pleasant, but the air already felt thick. The first few miles are always the worst. My nose is stuffed up and my legs feel like they are slogging along the path. We run beside the traffic before we turn and go under an overpass. Then we run along the river. Today it was brown and muddy. It looked like it wasn't moving, until we'd pass a spot with rapids and see it bubbling with froth.
I couldn't begin to recreate the conversations that keep us moving. Something about muscles and mothers-in-law and fishing and fathers and ex-mothers-in-law. Our stories are all over the place. Maybe they're only there to distract us from the number of times our feet hit the pavement.
We made the turn at 3.75 miles to head back and Noreen shared a "shot block" with me. It's like a gummy, thick and gooey, sticking to my teeth. "I can't run again until I get this all off my teeth," I protested, chugging water to wash it down.
Noreen and I ran a bit ahead, I think it was the energy from the shots. As we neared the lake, my phone, which was in Noreen's backpack, rang. Spencer was preparing to leave for basketball camp and trying to locate the last few items he needed. I answered his questions and debated whether to run the next two miles or to just go home and help gather things. Earl called and made it sound like everything was under control so I kept going.
Things get fuzzy here. A big focus of our conversations is asserting our wishes. Being women, we talk about doing what other people want us to do, so we all try to encourage each other to follow our own paths. As we ran past the parking lot, Pam strongly urged me to go home to get Spencer to camp. I was tempted. But, he was only going to be gone for three days, and these women changed their plans to run with me on Friday. I kept going those extra two miles.
We saw three goldfinches flit above the tall plants beside the trail. Their backs and bellies shone bright yellow in the morning air. Tiny bunnies hopped into the underbrush, hiding beneath leaves.
When I got home, I tasted salt at the edges of my mouth and felt that burned, raw feeling on my butt where the shorts had rubbed. Long runs can be painful, but they can also be the most fulfilling part of the day, sometimes the week. A couple hours with my friends, sharing accidental run-ins with nature.
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