Running Off at the Mouth

Week 7:  Saturday I let my 9 year old coach accompany me again on my neighborhood trail, but this time he got to ride his bike. He was a bit overly disappointed when I told him no, he was not allowed to yell at me and that he needed to offer encouragement. I gave him my old camera and charged him with the added responsibility of taking some photos of me en route, with bonus points awarded for capturing my lightning speed and grace. He remarked as we approached the end of the adjacent block, “Oh, you run this part now, too?” and I was once again happy with how far I’ve come.
     It was a warm but windy afternoon, and I was not at all confident that the weather and my eyes would hold out, so to the mortification of my son I wore my swim goggles just in case. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t relish the opportunity to embarrass my offspring just a smidgen as occasions arise, and this time was no different. When we entered the exterior path around the subdivision, the clouds to the west looked ominous and threatened to rain. I had intended to try for 2 laps but was persuaded by the approaching storm to wait until Sunday and content myself with a single, non-stop 2 mile loop. It became apparent early on that I needed to lay down additional ground rules with my son. He did a fabulous job of riding ahead then turning to snap a few photos while I gradually caught up, but he kept trying to have a full conversation.

Saturday strong & smiling early in lap 1

Both of my children love the art of conversation and have been known to ramble on and on, usually without need of much more than the occasional interjection (…as you can tell from my succinct blog, they got that from my husband). Once again assuming the role of coach, however, my son was instantly loaded with open ended questions designed to force a discussion and make a poignant commentary on my level of exertion. I initially tried to be polite and told him in full sentence form that it was difficult for me to converse while running and that I needed him to refrain from asking questions. I even softened the blow with a “Honey.” As we approached the end of the first mile and his never ending questions persisted, my response was shortened to,”Can’t talk; too hard,” and later to a non-verbal negative head shake and some sort of hand gesticulation that even I didn’t fully comprehend. This race will be loaded with thousands of friendly runners full of entertaining stories and I haven’t seen my sister in a long time, but I have no desire to talk to any of them while engaged my run, nor am I capable of it. Pleasantries will have to wait, I need every last breath of air to help me last.
     Sunday was my last attempt at a long run before race day. My son rode along again, but only after absolute terms for communication were established and agreed upon. The wind was strong again, and I was glad that I had my swim goggles while jogging the western half of the loop. The problem that arose during my second lap was that the combination of sweat and heat off of my forehead caused them to repeatedly fog, periodically obscuring my vision once again and damning my plan for visual success.

Sunday’s sorrowful lap 2

I can only surmise this unforeseen turn of events was due to the longer distance as I had not previously been bothered by this phenomenon. The expansion of my mileage also proved to be farther than what my bladder control muscles are content to endure without complaint. I kept wishing I’d see my neighbors cheering me on from their windows, pointing me in the right direction and offering up their bathrooms for a moment of relief. Sadly, any notoriety I have gained from my blog has apparently not yet reached my neighborhood. I had to walk some of both the third and fourth miles, but overall still jogged the majority. My phone was not cooperative after the first lap, and I forgot to wear my watch so I don’t know my times. I’m sure they were not anything impressive anyway. Fortunately, I have been reassured by several seasoned Bolder Boulder alumni that there are plentiful port-a-potties along the race course, so I will likely be able to refocus my body and mind midway. I wish I could say that I feel adequately prepared for my Memorial Day race, which is how I’m supposed to feel after the long run by now. I am thrilled with my progress so far, but I have this nagging sense that this is the level I was supposed to be at when I started my training 7 weeks ago. I can only hope that race day energy with permeate my soul and carry me through to the finish line. …Snap out of it already, it will be great!

Double fist pump: Let’s Go!

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