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The last runs

It was a warm, breezy sunny spring morning as I stood in the park waiting for my friend, Jessica, to arrive. We planned to do an easy 30 minutes as I finished up my last week of running before the marathon and she before her first half marathon.

Music was coming from somewhere down the road. It seemed odd, but I didn't really notice it until Jessica and I passed the source. It was provided by a guy with a karaoke machine in the trunk of his car. Apparently he was practicing.

It was odd, strange and the perfect backdrop to the final week of actual training.

Because parts of the journey to the marathon starting line can be rather ridiculous. And if you try to figure it out and make it logical or fit it into a preconceived notion of normal well, you will drive yourself nutty.

Saturday, my typical long run day, was still a long run but only for an hour and 10 minutes.

I pause to consider that.

Really? I feel that 70 minutes of running deserves an only modifier?

After doing runs of two or more hours every weekend for what feels like eternity, it's no surprise that just over an hour feels like a light day to me. But it's all relative. Last year at this time running for an hour would have been my longest day.

Now, it's an easy day.

That evolution didn't come easy, seamlessly or without a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

But it came.

And the days still include some wailing and choice words. Even that 70 minute Saturday run.

I wanted to do another part of the marathon course and enlisted my friend Laurie to help with the logistics. While she was unable to run with me as she recovers from a bike accident, she is able to walk so we picked an ending point and I dropped her off halfway then continued downtown to start my run.

It felt great. Until the dark clouds moved in and the clap of thunder ushered in a brief but powerful burst of rain.

Temporarily I cursed Laurie for asking if we could start later.

Then I actually was thankful. Who knows what weather Sunday will bring for the marathon and while I have run in rain before, this particular scenario was new on my list.

As soon as my disposition turned, so did the weather. The rain passed. The sun came out. And I maintained my pace to finish another good feeling run.

All that's left now is to survive taper week and get to the start line.

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