If there was any run in which the Blerch was gonna get me, this would be the one.
It was a tough week at my house. We lost Shadow on Tuesday, and all week the weather matched our moods–grey and rainy. This weekend M and B are up at the ranch (they put flowers and a marker on Shadow’s grave) so I am on my own. Our house feels empty without her, but we are slowly adjusting to our new normal. To that end, I’m glad I’d signed up to participate in the Beat the Blerch virtual race this weekend.
The race kit came a week or so ago, and wow, it was one big envelope of happiness.
The stress ball lives on my desk and the magnet is on my fridge at school, and the other day one of my students saw it and gasped in recognition. “Respect,” he said with a nod. That made me happy.
We decided to run the 10K today (S and I are slowly coming back from injuries, and we felt 13.1 would be unwise) and we wore our matching Blerch shirts. We both even showed up in our green Rogue socks! We skipped the race numbers but brought the medals for later, and at 6:30 we headed out. The 95% humidity felt like swamp water, but at least the sun wasn’t frying us. It’s the little things, I guess.
Today’s route was a new one–lots of turns, but at least we only had to go 3.1 miles, then head back. I like the variety of a new route, but I was not awake enough to follow a complex route for double-digits. I mean, c’mon. It even threw me that the water cooler was set up on the other side of the street this morning.
The most important thing I noticed during the first mile? No pain. Not even a twinge or a maybe or a phantom ache. I felt like I’d returned to my normal running gait again–no favoring an injured left side, no right side compensation. Noticing that something doesn’t hurt is almost as surprising as noticing that it does. My knee has given me problems since mid-July, and it felt weird to identify that absence of pain. But weird in a good way!
The second mile, I started feeling the
swamp water humidity. We passed two guys (in running gear) sitting in a driveway, apparently recovering from their run. We said hi, and when they asked how far we were going, I said, “Just six.” I thought later, why did I feel like I needed to qualify that six with just? I guess because even though I don’t look like an athlete, I know I am capable of running longer distances and don’t want to look like a slacker to other runners? I’m sure there’s a psychological answer in there somewhere.
Somehow I lost track of how far I had to go, because I looked at my watch and saw that we’d run 2.5 and I thought, “Ugh, still a mile and a half to go before we turn around.” It took me half a mile to realize my mistake. D’oh!
Just past the water stop at mile 2.5, we encountered a house with its sprinklers running. Nevermind the fact that this area received 5+ inches of rain this week–I was grateful and I ran through them like a child on summer vacation. And conveniently, my watch hit 3.1 miles right in front of another house with its sprinklers on. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t run through those too.
We plodded our way back, slowly and sweatily. Around 4.5 miles, a friend came up behind us. We’d seen her earlier, so she knew we had the matching green shirt thing going on. She told us that as she ran behind us, she kept seeing green figures ahead. But then she realized they were the green trash cans sitting at the curbs of the houses. That made us laugh.
The last mile, we picked up the pace a little–according to my Garmin data, our last 1.2 miles were our fastest. It was truly a Long SLOW Run, but hey, we completed it. And then we got medals.
All things considered, it was a positive end to a truly awful week.
Do you pronounce it BlerCH or BlerCK?
Thank you for all your kind words and condolences about my dog. I’m sorry it was a tear-jerker post but I’m grateful so many people got to read about Miss Shadow.