Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

Did you have a nice Memorial Day Weekend? Here in Boston there’s a beautiful tradition that 37,000 American flags are planted on the Boston Common to memorialize each of the service members from Massachusetts who have been killed in action from the Revolutionary War until today. It’s a powerful visual and important reminder of what the day is really about. A day off, yes, but in remembrance of those whose lives have been lost, not just a BBQ-heavy, unofficial kick-off to summer.

So, for that reason, I felt both patriotic and silly when I pulled on my USA dry-fit to mark the occasion on my morning run.

Did that make you cringe? I cringed a little. But I still wore my hat.

I’ve been running with H in the stroller more often than I really thought I would, which is awesome because I argued early on that I would really use the jogger and that has proven true, but it can also be a little tough. I blew off my long run last weekend and fully anticipated 8.5 on my own this weekend, but before I knew it, it was Monday morning, Nik was finishing boatloads of yard work, and Henry was… you guessed it… decidedly not napping. I debated pushing my run to the evening, but I had already done that each of the prior days and that yielded all of zero miles.

The idea of running the same neighborhood route was something I honestly couldn’t face (by now we have run so. many. loops.) and getting in the car to go run Southfield felt like an awful lot of work. After thinking through it in my head a couple of times, I decided we were going out on the open road, which would provide a little bit extra mileage and a slight change of scenery, even if the route was the same one I’ve run hundreds of times on my own.

For the most part, H is game for these outings. He rarely cries, typically naps, and is generally a really good sport, thank goodness. Even though I didn’t get to push myself, I tried to re-position my plans for a hard, long run, counting my blessings in honor of the Memorial Day holiday that I am lucky enough to push H, to run at all, to have somewhere safe and easy and convenient to run whenever I like.

The “new” route was once again stressful — the unfamiliar is uncomfortable — with the tougher to navigate stroller instead of simply two feet. The hills felt steeper and longer. The traffic lights felt much faster to flip, refusing to allow me the quick break I sometimes enjoy.

Then again, tough is good. Slow is sometimes better (remember when Bart Yasso told me most people run too many of their runs too fast?). Uncomfortable now means slightly less uncomfortable later, with any luck. It means at mile 18 of the marathon, when I’m tired and hurting and still a long way from the finish, I’ll have had to push — literally and figuratively — time and time again.

Let’s hear about your weekend. Who got dolled up and patriotic for their workout?