21 of 52: I Ran with Dan

The Plan

The plan was to write this in the style of Dr. Seuss. You know…

I Ran with Dan
We ran and ran
and ran and ran and ran

But as it turns out Dr. Seuss makes something that is very hard to do – look very easy. So for now I’m going to keep writing in the style of Chris Kaplan which should be pretty easy for me.

The Run

So there it is. With the B&A Half Marathon coming up I wanted to make sure we ran to the head of the trail in order to get some more time on Boulter’s way which is funny because I’ve run up those hills probably hundreds of times already – just not so much in recent times. Dan and I agreed to just get that (and the bridge) out of the way first.

BUT FIRST we ran past a townhouse I was thinking about renting. Of course I forgot to start my watch so let’s just say we got some bonus mileage prior to the “start”.

It was coldish with the threat of rain so we had light jackets on but by the time we hit the far side of the Naval Academy bridge we decided to ditch them. We rolled them up and placed them in a small tree off the ground and joked about wether or not we’d even remember to pick them up by the time we were finished.

We made our way to the trail head and then ran back down, over the bridge and onto the Naval Academy. We have a lot of really neat places to run here in Annapolis, but the Academy has got to be one of the most iconic (along with the downtown area). It was late enough in the morning that there were quite a few midshipmen out doing what midshipmen do… we wondered at what an amazing experience it must be for them. I wonder now in retrospect if they’re aware of the uniqueness of the experience. I imagine some do – most don’t. I hope I’m wrong.

The thing that always catches me off guard is how these young people *always* defer to us as we run through *their* campus. They immediately and with extreme courtesy make way for us and say hello. It’s remarkable. Maybe they just think we might be an admiral they haven’t met yet ( you never know who you’re talking to) – or maybe that type of courtesy (be nice) is one of the things they’re taught at the academy. Either one is a good life lesson in my book.

We enjoyed the academy, running as extreme a version of the perimeter as we could, ran downtown and then made our way back to Dan’s place by way of West Street. 13.1 and done.

Not The Run

We got to talking about how many weeks I’m up to. And I said how I felt like after all this time (21 weeks) it feels like I should be more than halfway. Some weeks I feel like I’ve been doing this forEVer. Then other times it’s just another run. Mostly when I’m in the middle of one I don’t think about how many more I have to go because being in that moment none of the other runs matter. I don’t have to worry about them.

I think this is also how it goes with the miles of a long run. Say you set out for 20 miles. Usually for me it goes like this…

  • Miles 1-5 – “YAAAYYYY”
  • Miles 6-10: “How far are we going again? I mean I can run all day but I just wanted to double check. For a friend.”
  • Miles 10-15: “Keep on running. Keep on running.”
  • Mile 16: “I hate my life.”
  • Miles 17-19: “The cold dark space in my heart is dragging me forward.”
  • Mile 20: “I am a machine. I just ran 20 miles. Bring me all of the tacos.”

In truth I can bounce back and forth between feeling all of these things regardless of the mile I’m in but the thing is – in a single run I am almost ALWAYS concerned with the other miles of that run. The opposite is true if you think about each week of this as one mile of a long run – where I have little regard for any of the runs ahead of me. I tried this attitude out in the future (week 22) when I ran the B&A half and had a surprising result.

Spoiler – I PR’d – but more about that…

Next Week: The B&A Half Marathon.

ALSO: We remembered the jackets. Did you?

One Comment

  1. I think many runners go through the mental highs and lows during a long run especially if running solo. As I’ve, said before I think you have a way with words. Another entertaining read and no I didn’t remember the jacket’s!

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s