For a long time I replayed those moments on the side of the road when I gave up. I leap from the present moment to that one as a specter and whisper in that person's ear and say in desperation: "Do it! Get back on the bike and ride!" He doesn't listen. There's no changing that moment; only reliving it.
Excerpt from Leadville or Bust
Random book share. No reason. I’m trying to move toward publication and promotion. Getting the word out a little more.
Anyway, we started a 10,000 step challenge at work. I thought there would be cake.
Wait, let me rephrase that: I thought it was going to be cake. Man, that spoonful of oatmeal just ain’t gonna cut it today.
I’m running again. Mandy will be running as soon as her soft tissue all spontaneously reconnects. Then we’ll be back to crushing local KOMs and QOMs. Of course there’s no one but ourselves to compete against. It’s nice, but depressing both at the same time.
Last night I took Speedy Bean to cross country practice. Another week and the season will pretty much be over. Three more meets jammed into an impossibly short time period. She’ll do fine.
Attendance was sparse last night so she didn’t have her other elementary buddies to run with. The coach sent her off basically by herself to run two mile along the outer perimeter or the Lion’s Club Park, which is essentially a treeline at the edge of a mowed field. In a couple of places the course dips into the trees. I didn’t think anything about it. Coach didn’t think anything about it. But Bean on the other hand, it being so close to Halloween and all, was a tiny, teensy, horribly awful bit freaked out by running through the woods all by herself.
Some of the kids ran clockwise and some counter. Bean took off counter and I decided to run the opposite because Coach’s rule is parents are welcome to run during practice, just not with their own child.
I was running because I wanted to run and to boost my first day’s steps in the challenge. The first time I passed Beanie she tried to get me to stop with tears. She claimed her feet hurt which is code for “I don’t want to do this.” I encouraged her to keep going. She called out that Coach had told her she couldn’t walk. I called over my shoulder to run a little slower then. I could tell she was trying to deflect. Bean can be a bit lazy when it comes to practice. She gets it honest.
After we moved back to Kentucky my sophomore year I ran track as a poor substitute for my beloved cross country. Some of my less ambitious teammates and I would sneak off from the track, get in our cars and go to Hardees (Carl Jr’s for you westerners) for burgers. We learned our lesson the time Ovie (the coach) caught us coming back and made us run more laps with burger-full bellies. I confessed this to him at the beginning of the Natural Bridge 5k last year. He laughed.
Anyway, I kept running and Bean went on. I met her again on her second lap and in the middle of my third. She was getting ready to go into the woods and she actually ran straight at me, forcing me to stop, and grabbed my hand. I knew something was up. I said I would break the rule and run with her back to the finish. In the past she’s wanted to quit when she found herself running all alone. I looked around and it hit me.
“Are you just freaked out because you’re by yourself?”
She nodded, flinging hot tears everywhere.
“Okay, let’s go,” I said as we took off. She ran strong. It was apparent her feet didn’t hurt. And she didn’t ask to stop again. She didn’t want to run alone. And looking around I could see why. For long stretches if there are only a few people out it would be possible to not see anyone else. It would be pretty lonely for a seven year old, no matter how brave, to be in that situation.
She finished her laps strong in a dead sprint against her dad. She won.
I apologized to the coach, but I think she understood.
Today I have an afternoon meeting in Frankfort. My plan had been to run at Capitol View during lunch. The weather isn’t cooperating. Rain. Rain. More rain. Potential for thunderstorms and severe weather. If it was a morning meeting and I could just run and skip on home it might be feasible. I can’t justify the hog wallop that would be if I were to take to the trails this afternoon though.
If things clear up I’ll have a lunchtime opportunity for a run at Life Adventure Center on Thursday. I’m not holding my breath. And if it were drier conditions I’d be hauling the MTB instead of running. It’s been too long. And the bike is back in operational mode.
For now I may be relegated to hard surface running. Hopefully by the weekend I can at least get back on the backyard trail.