Exactly 5 weeks from today, I will be in Boston.  Hopefully by this time of the evening, we will be sitting downtown enjoying post-race activities, good conversation, and lots of laughing.  It won’t even matter that my hips will be so sore I’ll be hobbling around like Kathy Bates paid a visit to my hotel room.

I’ve been improvising the runs lately.  Not totally off track – no pun intended – just slightly off the plan a little.  Hey, story of my life and course corrections are nothing if not endurance building.  I typically run on Friday mornings, but last week the weather was once again a jerk.  So, I pulled a two a day on Thursday, cross training in the morning; abandoning all things “should do” and lacing up the shoes in the late afternoon.  It was beautiful outside and snow was on the way.

With only one layer on the top and bottom for a change, a pair of lightweight gloves, and some shades, I hit the end of the driveway smiling.  Ah.  Peace and…no.  No quiet.  I was jamming.  Music lifts my spirits like nothing else.  I’m kind of hooked on an Alanis Morissette song right now, so she and I were hanging at a fast clip with our Guardian.  Just as I cruised past the covenant-breaking Cousin Eddie RV a few houses down, I saw her.  And I don’t mean Alanis.

Crap.  Crappity-crap-crap.  She’s way faster and she’s smiling.  Can I run backwards or would that be too obvious?  I had forgotten that the leader of our PR Training group has lived here for years.  She’s been to Boston; she’s won lots of local races; she is no joke out there.

Hey Beth!  How far ya going?

Um, just 6.  You done already?  (mind you, she’s almost home)

Well I was, but I’ll go with you!!

Swell.

It’s kind of like when you’re on the treadmill at the Y minding your own business.  You don’t necessarily mean to pick up your pace when some well intended soul hops on next to you.  But then it just kind of happens and before you know it, you can’t breathe and you quickly realize you have hit middle age in one big ass fell swoop.

So she and I are talking about kids, comparing the stories of teenagers, instantly making the pain of the now really stupid pace seem like sugarplums and fairies.  We hit the greenway and headed east.  The weather was weird; warm-ish and bright out, but mounds of dirty snow and broken branches still splattered the once in a while clear path. 

The good news in all of this is that my new bright orange race shoes no longer looked like first day of you’re getting made fun of school shoes.  I ran through mud, water, stones, mulch, pretty much every kind of terrain sans a piece of gnarly-hard (even though you only chewed it for a second before popping your jawbone) Bazooka.

Ok, I’m gonna head back now so I don’t have to run through that huge snow pile.  Sorry if I slowed you down!

Oh, so soon? Ok, thanks for coming with me for a bit.  And uh, no.  You definitely didn’t.

(How I got that out verbally in response is an act of something miraculous)

Ok, 1 more mile east and then time to flip and get this one in the books.  So just as I was back to both a comfortable pace and the tunes, I see another impediment on the greenway.  Like, a lot of them.

Great, no where to run, I thought.  The song instantly starts blaring in my head.  Thank you, Paul Stanley.  KISS this.  Why does everything instantly equate to a song anyway?  Gotta work on that.  Maybe over the weekend.  Loverboy!  Damn it!

A new Starbucks is under construction on the south side of the road.  I saw a Bobcat being operated by what must have been either an illegal alien or a 4 year-old.  A gaggle of Amish teenage boys stopped watching whatever their little bro was trying to do because I guess they’ve never seen pasty white shins coming at ’em before. 

Man, there’s no song for this.  Not only am I going to have to navigate a John Deere, I’m going to have to fight my total incuriosity of what is happening in roughly 10 more strides. 

Yo, wuz up Vanilla Ices?

I have no idea where that came from.  Seriously.  All I can cop to is that I was overtired, deliriously happy to see rays of sunshine, and in an ornery mood.  By the time it flew out of my mouth, I was already past them and wondering if I actually said it out loud.

Little things like that entertain me for hours. 

Here’s hoping I can find something highly entertaining 5 weeks from now on the course.  Preferably, something that will last exactly 3 hours, 39 minutes, and 59 seconds. 

Or maybe if I’m lucky, even a little less.


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