The Odd Seventeen

Seventeen is an odd number. Generally speaking, in the grand scheme of things, seventeen is not a number easily divisible. If seventeen was the total number of food items on a plate for two, my kisa would immediately call that plate a  “date plate.” Why? Because you cannot share the plate equally between yourself and your sweet date. Someone either gives up the last piece or selfishly eats the damn thing. You can tell how a date is going by what happens to that indivisible food item.

In terms of miles, seventeen was not a number I went looking for last weekend. My plan called for 16+ and in my warped little world I had already run a sweet 16 without stopping. That meant this run needed to be longer. Somehow.

Date plates aside, another indication of etiquette is keeping a promise. Months ago I swore I would run a 5k for a friend’s charity event. A promise is a promise is a promise. A no brainer. But, that doesn’t mean the decision came without baggage. Thoughts bumped around my head like lottery ping pong balls: How could I fit in an additional 13+ miles? Exactly where could I run an additional 13+ miles? And this 5k!? What if I injury something on this “nontraditional” run? Could I really run another 13+ at high noon? The 5k was to start at 11am! And. And! And, I don’t know the neighborhood at all. Where would I go? My old nemesis of self-doubt was lurking in the darker corners of my mind volleying these questions across my sanity. How? Where? What if?

Fast forward to the 5K – finished in 29 some odd minutes (in other words, didn’t push or lag). It turned out to be the BEST 5k I have ever run. The terrain was varied (asphalt, gravel, dirt and grass) and so was the scenery. I loved running by the rive. The woodsy parts totally reminded me of Monhegan. I experienced silver and gold in that I made a new friend and caught up with an old one. I couldn’t stick around for the raffle or music or speeches but…3.1 miles done.

The 14 – My new friend and her partner tried to give me running routes around Westfield but I knew Kisa would be nervous if he didn’t know the route. Me running solo is not whiskers on kittens; not raindrops on roses; in other words, not his favorite thing. The problem was this: I didn’t really have a plan or a route. I knew only two things – thanks to my mother being in town I was operating on less than four hours of sleep and I didn’t want to run 14 in the middle of the day. I’m a dusk runner. Always have been. Always will be. So I went home. For a nap.

14.4 (Take 2) – I decided to make the trip back up to NoHo for the 14 after a light lunch and a power nap of 90 minutes. The newly discovered Belchertown bike path has become an instant favorite. I love running by farms and orchards that look like they belong in the south of France. I love cruising through tunnels and over bridges and by wetlands. I don’t even mind the golf course, the car dealership or mall. They are barely a blip on my radar as I run by. My favorite part is the bridge over the Connecticut river. On the way out it symbolizes the journey I am about to take. On the return trip it is a measurement of accomplishment; it signifies pain being beaten back once again. I love this path so much that one of these days I want to run the entire thing one way. Kisa can pick me up on the other side of wherever it ends up. By the power of my feet I just want to see how far it goes and discover every little thing along the way.
So. Even though I don’t really believe in combining runs… the total for the day = 17.5 miles

And for hahas, total for the month = 95.5 miles

While I’m at it, total for the training = 203.75

Here’s the crazy thing – only 46 days, 19 runs, and 158 miles stand between me and Vegas. Let the games begin.

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Categories: Confessional, running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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