Monday, March 22, 2010

A Good Run Unspoiled

It turned out that I needed every bit of Rob's mojo to get me home yesterday morning in Freehold Township. The 10-mile course for the St. Paddy's Day Run, which meandered throughout Freehold Township (one hellaciously fine-looking town) and passed by the best mailbox I have seen in a long time - "The McCools" - was apparently designed by a sadist. It started to climb at the 3-mile mark and save for a couple of "don't blink or you'll miss them" declines thereafter continued unabated on an uphill climb for the final ten miles. Here 'NTSG there are not a lot of hills on which to run. So encountering them is interesting - in moderation. Mile after mile after mile of them is something else altogether. There is a word for what it is: sadistic.

OK, sadistic is clearly too strong a term. I can admit that now. Yesterday morning while climbing apparently in perpetuity towards the finish line I was not feeling nearly as gracious towards the course designer. It was nice to see the entrance to the park and to be told by the volunteer manning it that there was only 1/3 of a mile to the finish. It was nicer still to be permitted to end the race in an area that was - at worst - elevation neutral. Flat is good - regardless of what Columbus spent his life griping about and trying to prove. And at the end of a 10-mile run it is better than good.

Yesterday it felt as if the distance from the "Mile 7" marker to the finish line was considerably greater than 3 miles. On more than one occasion from Mile 7 to the end I wondered to myself whether I had enough in the tank to make it home. There was more than one occasion when I found myself feeling a bit sorry for myself. And on each and every occasion when that happened I looked down at the emblem on the front of my shirt. And then I thought of the names written on its back and those names - one of them in particular - got me focused back on the task at hand......until finally there were no more steps to take.

My running buddy Gidg had an exceptional day yesterday. She caught up to and passed me at about the 9.5 mile mark and finished 10 seconds ahead of me. To the rest of the world our finishing positions of 404 and 405 out of 473 might not seem like much but, well, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion I suppose. And you shall excuse me if I do not put as much weight in your opinion as I do my own. And I think we did just fine.

-AK

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