Lamentations…and Humiliation

I am a realist most of the time. I know I still believe that the Cubs will play in a World Series and our government will actually…well…ah…govern. I also believe that these events will occur before I leave this world and go to meet my deserved rewards. Really…most of the time I am a realist especially as it relates to my running. I am enough of a realist to grimace a bit when I use the term runner when describing what I do. I just have too much going against me to be more than an average runner, even in my age group. Look at me. No really look at me and say with a straight face, “Now there is a runner.” It can’t be done with a straight face. When I look in a mirror I see a gourd with shoulders. A mesomorph from the waist down attached to an ectomorph from the waist up. My gene pool did not assist me in my running endeavors. Now, sitting in my recliner keeping my greasy pizza hand separated from my remote hand…that I got.
I didn’t beginning running with any regularity until I was in my forties and didn’t commit to it until after a heart attack in 2006. Soooo, realistically I just want to set an attainable goal, work at it, train effectively, stay healthy and attain it. A sub nine minute per mile 5K ain’t gonna happen. Maybe one mile might be run in a sub nine minute time. Now I do think sub ten’s are possible or at least I did until today. The Ache Around the Lake is just around the corner. Last year I ran it’s up and down five mile course in 50 minutes and some change. All I need to do is shave less than a minute off each little ole mile. 49:59 sounds so much better than 50:00…but it ain’t gonna happen.
Since I retired from teaching I don’t even like to set goals. There is something to be said for wandering through life without a road map. How can you get lost if you don’t know where you are going? Running is different. I knew where I was going today. A nice slow, long for me, nine mile run on the Swamp Rabbit as I move toward the mileage needed to run a half marathon. A nine mile “Jeff Galloway” run averaging around eleven minute miles. Easy, I did eight and a half last week. Just a little long run from the railroad car at Furman uphill through Travelers Rest for five miles and then back again. Bull hockey! I knew I was in trouble during the first mile and a half. Half mile walk to warm up and a one mile…jog. I know my legs were attached to my feet when I put on my shoes but where are they now? Physically I see them but for some reason they have become very large strands of over done pasta.
Miles two and three of the course are actually the hardest part of an easy course. After mile two I said to myself “Firetruck it” I am going to gut this out. Too bad my guts weren’t listening or doing the running. For some reason I am singing an old Dave Dudley song in my head. Actually I was hearing “Six Days on the Road” over my IPod. There is a line that says “my rig’s a little old but that don’t mean she’s slow, there’s a flame from her stack and that smokes blowing black as coal.” I decided I was going to be Dave Dudley’s Rig. I was gonna bring it home tonight! It worked…for about a half mile. I really tried to believe it but then she passed me at the three and a half mile mark. If I was Dave Dudley’s rig she was George Jones’ Corvette and she whizzed by me on the incline like I was rolling backwards. I am used to being passed by young ladies and it really doesn’t bother me. Nubile twenty something’s wearing spandex and going fast are usually motivating. So are thirty or forty year olds. Fifty…well maybe…oh yeah! This twenty something year old pushing her baby stroller with two year old on board really bothered me. Worse than that, she was really–really pregnant with another child. The tires on my rig just went flat! A nice little three and one half mile walk back to the railroad car on flat tires. Yeah I can attain that goal.
#blog #amwriting

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