Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Summertime 20 miler

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 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.  


WADDLER26.2 said...

I actually love those kind of runs. Take care of your foot. I was glad to be on the bike today with the humidity- we sent the rain to you.

John said...

Great run, Joe! I've got some thoughts on your 4:30 Marathon plans.. will share with you later tonight when I get home.

Just wondering.. when you decided to take the long way home the last 1.6 miles, did the ubiquitous Supertramp song "Take The Long Way Home" enter your head at that point?? Happens to me on more than one occasion!

Joe said...

John, the "supertramp" song didn't hit me until I wrote the blog post...but is certainly did then. While running, I was just thinking "don't turn at Wishire, go on down to Henderson" and I don't know of a single song with that in the chorus.

Wes said...

nice run. Bono is always a good choice in my book :-)

Sarah said...

Sounds (pun intended!) like a good way to pass the time of a long run! 90% humidity sounds matter how "cool" it is. Nice run!

Backofpack said...

Man, the only songs that ever echo through my head are preschool songs. Not good! That Ella Fitzgerald video was amazing!

Darrell said...

Quite the mix of musical flavors there, Joe. When I first read the Summertime a completely different "version" came to my mind (check out Summertime Sublime ( Not nearly as timeless as the one you had in mind.

Thanks for the hint on how the race day is going to go.

robtherunner said...

Sounds like a good run, Joe! I hope the next one is just as good.