Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

It’s been raining for days, hard and cold, which seems appropriate since some things around here have been really sad. My friend is losing her baby.

Losing, not going to lose or lost because it’s been such a hard, ongoing struggle. But it’s happening now, a few months after a devastating diagnosis, and tomorrow they will say goodbye. The situation is terrible, and because this lady is so compassionate, vibrant, and full of life, it feels especially heavy. She was also due only a handful of days before me and the whole thing reminds me that life is really not fair.

So, tonight, when the sun came out and things warmed up a bit, I ran for her. For her husband. For their daughter, who — if life is measured in love, has lived a very loved life indeed.

I thought a lot about how heartbreaking the whole thing is, and also, how lucky I am.

I don’t mean that in a “so lucky it’s not me” kind of way. I am lucky that this smart and witty couple crossed my path in the first place, and then, that they stayed there. I’m glad that we both have the ability to put on our shoes and run. That this sport is an outlet that is both solitary and unifying.

With regards to my own baby, I do feel lucky, with searing heartburn and the annoying and constant urge to pee, because it is a fortunate and miraculous inconvenience. But also the roll of a dice.

While walking it in at the end tonight, a cover of Simon and Garfunkels’ Bridge Over Troubled Water played. Talk about goosebumps.

A few months ago, while out for a run in the momentary lapse between blizzards, a neighbor asked if I was training for a marathon and I thought about how even though I wasn’t, I kind of was. Running or in life. We all are. In every marathon there’s a rough stretch. At some point in every single race, it’s gonna suck. And yet, almost always, we finish. We come back for more.

Marathons are endurance events and each and every time, at the start, through the hills, and on the homestretch, we endure. We grin and high five and celebrate, but there are tears, and sometimes blood, and it hurts. But, we endure, even when it doesn’t feel good.

When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you.