ORN: 20.6 miles, R3/W1, 3:41:14, 10:45/mile
After a less-than-enjoyable 18 mile run two weeks ago, I was antsy to run today's scheduled 20 miler. It went well. The day was heavily overcast, with humidity near 90% with off and on drizzle. But the temps stayed in the low 70s due to the clouds and it was bearable.
The run just sort of happened. My banged-up left pinkie toe behaved. Though I was aware of its presence, it caused no pain; mostly it was just sore. I'm planning on running a 2/1 run/walk ratio at the HOA marathon in six weeks. Pushing a 3/1 today seemed to help, especially given the likelihood of similar heat and humidity.
So, with a simple run just going along, the run became surprisingly musical. (I don't like to wear earphones). The sequence of songs for the 3+ hour run was enlightening and perhaps says something about me.
Around mile 7, the trail runs along some farm fields. It struck me just how much the corn has grown in the last week or two, now sporting the tassels which shift it from deep green to a greenish- yellow hue. And, at that point, the most wonderful of lullabys, George Gershwin's Summertime from Porgy and Bess, got into my head. Indeed, catfish are jumpin' in Indiana rivers now and though we don't have cotton, the corn sure is high. This song, regarded by many experts as one of finest songs ever written in American has always moved me. Its gentle, rocking rhythm is coupled with lyrics which express the hopes and dreams of every parent. It is a universal song. It allowed a wonderful reflective time for me as I ran.
Until mile 14.
During a walk break, a gangly high school freshman training for cross-country clomped past me. On the back of his T shirt was a bold "We Are the Champions" statement for some team he'd been part of. And this jolted me from the peaceful "Summertime" to Queen's ubiquitous stadium anthem of the same name. Yeesh. What a contrast.
A mile or so later I managed to shift from this abrasive piece to another slow, reflective song, 40 by U2. It's slow refrain, "How long.....to sing this song?" has resonated with me. In many ways, the song is about perseverance. We sing this song at our church as well (yeah, you read right...we sing stuff by both Martin Luther and Bono) and I find it attractive and reflective to me.
The run was just that good. During the last mile, my legs felt heavy and my feet hurt, but I took the long way home and made the last mile 1.6 miles, just to work through the heaviness. The run and the music were great.
Persevere to your own music, my friends.