Sometimes I need to pinch myself. Yesterday SR spent hours running about 24 miles together in Devil's Head State Park in WI. All this after a romantic evening in Madison, WI. It was so wonderful to eat outside on State Street, speak Danish together, giggle with the Lorax. And well, there's more, but let me get back to the run...
We ran with the babyjogger and I explained the situation in my previous relationship: I never would have been allowed to run over 2 hours at a time. But with SR there is no clock. And yesterday our only plan was to run as long as we could.
I do know it is not the Lorax's idea of a great day to be stuck in a baby jogger. About half way through the run, he got SO MAD that his tears elicited "I'm going to call the police" looks from mother bystanders. I took him out to play with him and he had the usual telangiectatic marks all over his face from despondent crying. I waited for SR to meet us. SR had run 21 miles at this point, so he let me take off.
I was about 16 miles into my run then. And this seems to be the usual distance where running becomes a religious experience. I ran up and down a steep, rocky hill with gorgeous lake overlooks. There were plenty of hikers staring and pointing at the crazy running woman, but I was alone in my head. I couldn't remember anything in life that bothered me. Somehow during long, long runs, I shed all that. It's like my body is so consumed, that it can't deal with frivolous, worrisome thoughts. Every fiber of my body becomes focused on running and existence. And the rocks and trees, sky and landscape start to come alive, breathing and seemingly reflecting my memories and breaths and pounding heart.
I recently read about the 24 year-old ultramarathoner, Jenn Shelton, that during a 100 mile race she saw a little girl and started screaming. Apparently the person crewing her had to explain she was imagining it. What long distance running does to our minds and bodies is fascinating.
Honestly, I wanted badly to keep running at the end, but my boys were ready to go, especially this one...
I was surprised how easily 24 miles came out of me. I am a new person since the pregnancy. And part of it is doing 15-16 miles every other day during the week and really resting up on the in-between days. I'm more optimistic about the 50 miler coming up in Michigan.
For now, it's back to usual life, but I'm unburdened. It's incredible how you can shed pointless, negative thoughts on long runs. Or at least recognize them as being just that.
Running Song of The Day: Fading Like a Flower by Roxette