Sometimes, I’m a little jealous of SBS and her best running friend Molly. While I do have lots of running friends (and, just for the record, lots of non-running friends), there aren’t any that I run with on a regular basis. Part of me wishes I had this kind of closeness with my own Molly. But most of me knows that running solo is one of my most favorite things ever and I don’t really want to give that up.
Which isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed the times I’ve run with other people. Like the easy three miles in Maine with my friend Quinn, who runs barefoot unless road conditions are dire. Or the four in Canandaigua with my friend Lisa, where the whole town came out to cheer us on when we were running back to home base. (Some have said the cheering was for the town’s football team whose buses were streaming past us on their way back from a big game. Harumph, I say. They just saw how fabulous we were.)
As pleasant as all of my partnered runs have been, my bread-and-butter runs—those everyday miles—are better by my lonesome. As much as I might play an extrovert in the classroom or in public, deep down, I’m not one. I need the times of not talking and of not interacting in order to be fully present in the times that I need to do both.
I was alone (but not lonely) on this past weekend’s long run. It was another ten miles through the countryside. I never, ever, ever though I’d ever refer to a ten miler as *another* ten miler, yet here we are. My mind wandered in indescribable ways during the run. It’s more like I spent the two+ hours rearranging all of my mental furniture just to see if there was some combination of sofa, end table, and wingback chair that was more aesthetically pleasing.
I also thought about tutus.
Tutus have been in the running news lately, for reasons I’m not going to rehash. I’ve been deep in pondering what to wear for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I’ve got the top half of my body worked out: my favorite sports bra and a Badass Mother Runner t-shirt. I’ll go visor or headband, depending on the sun. But it’s my bottom that I don’t know what to do with.
Yes, this has been one of my life’s themes. Bottoms are tricky.
My running skirt’s built-in spankies keep riding up, which takes it out of the *ahem* running. I’m wondering if it will be too hot for capris. I’d commit to shorts but don’t want to wear anything in a race that I haven’t already tested at that distance—and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be warm enough here anytime soon to go long in shorts.
The whole hoo-hoo over tutus made me feel like I should wear one, just to show solidarity for the tribe. But I’m not sure I’m a tutu gal. Plus, they look kinda scratchy, if truth be told.
It was right about here in the ten-miler that the “snail” started. “Snail” is a term my daughter coined to described that pelty snow/hail mixture we get in the early spring. All thoughts of tutus tata’d from my head during that last mile through the snail. This winter has been a party guest who just refuses to take the hint, even though you’ve turned out the lights, shoved it out the door, and crawled into bed.
Once I got home and finished muttering, I slipped on my sexy new compression socks, because nothing says HOTT like knee-high nylon orthopedic gear. I’m not abundantly certain they helped—my angry calf grew quiet before I bought the socks—but I was able to stay on my feet for a fundraiser that night where I had to play Vanna White to an auctioneer’s Pat Sajak. Fortunately, I was wearing pants, so that no one was overcome by lust upon seeing my socks.
This coming Saturday—otherwise known as “tomorrow” by the time this is live—marks the last of the long, long runs. It’s slated to be 11 - 13 miles. I’m going to shoot for 12, which means that I’m also going to need to plot it out on a map because I don’t have a go-to route that is easily extended that far.
I’ll have to set off on this run without one of the companions who has been with me throughout this training. No, not a BRF but my pink and navy Brooks Ghost 6 kicks, who have had to be retired after many months of excellent service. I’ve long felt that there should be some sort of Viking-style funeral service for dead running shoes but am fairly certain that setting them ablaze on an ocean-going raft is a bad idea on many different levels. They will be missed.
Fortunately, I’ve been alternating them with a blue and yellow pair of the same shoes. I’ve added a new pair to the rotation. Sadly, it’s the same color scheme because the running store didn’t have anything else in my size. I might have to take a marker to the heel somewhere so that I can easily tell them apart for the bleary morning runs.
I have already marked the new shoes—and pass this along just in case you tend to forget when you’ve bought each new pair. In order to avoid that moment of “how long have I had these?,” write the month and year of purchase on the tongue in sharpie. These will forever after be known as “4-14” and will join their sisters “1-14” in the rotation. Welcome, 4-14! May the odds be ever in your favor.