Shake out runs. Those short, easy jogs priming our muscles. Supposed to be easy. I’m in week 3 of marathon training, and the last 2 of these were absolutely murderous. Okay, that’s a little dramatic. But. They were hard. Last week after 6, I felt like I was running through mud.
Which brings me to tonight.
On Sunday, I ran 8 miles, and after a weekend of LA and 650+ miles of driving, I had to lace up at night after driving home. At mile 6, I was dead. Got some relief (sorry, hat), and jogged, I mean really jogged the rest of the way home. So I wasn’t looking forward to tonight’s shakeout of 3 miles.
I’m told I am going to need my faster miles at the end of the run, so I’ve started to challenge myself to do that. First mile was 10:48. Then 10:36. Then…my stomach hurt, my lungs started to work. And, I thought. I simply cannot make myself run FASTER.
And then a song came on. And it jogged a memory. During an Udder Run, Kim and I were running a 5 miler in Hilmar, and as I turned the corner, Low Rider, by War came on my iPod. And I looked up, and there was one long row of just cows. For a long time. Cow after cow, all watching me as I ran to Low Rider. And, I remember that I started to laugh. And of course by that point of the race, I thought “Who the hell puts together a race in Central California, in June, through a dairy?” And somehow, that song, that memory…it got me through tonight.
My last mile. 10:35. One second faster. One. But, I’ll take it.
On a sidenote, I thought this. Someday, I’m going to be an old woman. And I will have these memories. Of the cows, and the song, and about a hundred other just like this. Because, I love marathons and marathon training. I do.
Tonight, I came home, and my child wanted to participate in the chili cookoff for his church group tomorrow. And, I’m a week out of payday, and I said, of course. I went to the market and spent $45 on his cousin’s chili recipe. And, we all pooled our dollars to put in a safe place. Because, my kids are awesome like that.
I’m cooking chili until 9 at night, and they come in from Scouts, and the kitchen is clean, and they just don’t know. But they are excited, and feel like this pot will be a winner, and these are the memories that make up their childhood.
But my memories. Running through the streets of this town. Running in wind and cold. And running just one second faster than the last mile. Well. Who could ask for anything more, and how did I get so lucky?