The Cow in the Crack

Days 8-9:  My son has coined a new motivational expression to help keep me on my running schedule.  It happened yesterday while we were on a miscellaneous errand to the bank and passed a herd of cattle grazing in a field next to the road.  One of the cows had made it’s way into a ditch that was about 4 or 5 feet deep at the edge of the field.  He was happily munching away on the grass in the bottom of the ditch, content to stay put, while his friends covered the more sizable terrain of the field above him.  The observation of this cow led to a lengthy discussion about bovine behavior and how this cow will likely stay in the ditch until someone rescues him, rather than to try to climb out by himself.  Now, I know nothing about cows and their behavior in ditches, but I have heard that collectively they are not the brightest nor most agile creatures and the path of least resistance seemed like the cow’s most certain course of action.  My son thought it comical that the cow would rather lazily remain in the small crack rather than attempt to climb out a relatively small slope in order to restore its place with the herd.  And suddenly our new phrase, “don’t be a cow in a crack” was born.  Immediately, the applications to my running performance were apparent.  “Mom, are you going to run today or are you going to be a cow in a crack?” and  “don’t stop–don’t be a cow in a crack.”  No one wants to be a cow in a crack, let alone a cow.
     Later in the day I headed back outside for my jog, optimistic and proud after my surreal experience on the treadmill Thursday.  I felt I had made such rapid gains in my times and I wanted to keep the momentum going.  As I turned the corner at the end of the street, however, I realized that my entire life force had actually been sucked out of me by my last workout 2 days ago, and I was in no way prepared for yet another day of training.  I was doomed.  To make matters worse, what looked like absolutely zero wind from my house, was actually gale force at the edge of the community trail.  Something must be flawed in the design and placement of our neighborhood, so that winds are actually created and magnified into a constant whirlwind along the periphery.  I am also certain that its jogging path is actually an impossible uphill spiral.   I trudged along having rediscovered my familiar slow pace, disappointed that I was not yet able to feel any ease in my stride. There were no measurable gains in my time since my last day on this route. I had downloaded a new app for my iphone to help keep track of my statistics, and I was glad I forgot my phone at home.  Gone was the champion of Thursday, and I had to fight the urge to become the cow in the crack.  My success Saturday was in not lying down in the grass to sing along with Adele–who has no business on my running playlist anyway.  I persevered and made it home. There are horses along my trail, but still no cows, and that made me happy.

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