Friday, September 28, 2012

Recalling the 20 miler

 Cooper poses with some of our new fall decor.

One of my running friends surprised me with a homemade apple cake.  Perfect post-run treat!

It all started out so pleasant.  My two running friends met me on the trail ready to run the Big Kahuna training run--a 20 miler.  For the first 13 miles, we were happy.  We exchanged funny stories, discussed favorite foods, shared running tips.  We talked about some other runners we knew that didn't talk while running.  We laughed and agreed we'd never be those runners. 

Then mile 14 arrived.

The laughter stopped.  In fact, all communication halted (remember us laughing at the other quiet runners?).  In silence, we panted and wheezed along the trail.  Finally, I cut through the hush.

"I think I've hit a mental wall," I whispered.

I could hear my two running friends let out a sigh of relief as they quickly agreed with my sentiments.  Then, we landed back in the silence and stayed that way for the final 6 miles.

During that time, a lot of things were running through my mind.

I first played the "Would I rather?" game in my head.

"Would I rather get trampled to death by a bull in Pamplona or run 20 miles?"

I'll take the bull.

"Would I rather contract a bad case of bed bugs AND head lice or run 20 miles?"

No question, the lice/bed bug combo.

"Would I rather be strung along by my toes behind the minivan on the highway at top speed or run 20 miles."

Highway, please.

After exhausted every possible scenario, I started to think about what word I would use to best describe the experience.  I thought about a recent book I read written by a physician.  She talked about a medical study that found patients in discomfort reported more of an alleviation from pain by saying curse words rather than any other substitute term (think darn verses @#?!).  Being the good Christian woman I am, I tried to chant those substitute words in my head, but found the study to be right (sadly).  Those gentler words didn't quite hold the same punch as the real thing.

Finally, we landed by our cars with 20 miles under our belt.  We all collapsed on a bench.

Emily said she almost passed out a few times.

Marie said every five miles a pain in her hip flared up.

I was too winded to even speak.

After a few minutes, I said, "So, see you next week for the same thing?"

Everyone nodded.

I'm hoping, like childbirth, the pain can be forgotten.

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