Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Good Day to Run. A Good Day to Live.

I had a good long run today, 15.25 miles with 4 on the treadmill and the rest on my favorite "Boston Marathon" course that takes me from Alhambra Hall to Charleston and back via the Ravenel bridge.

Rain had been in the forecast for this morning and I had planned to run outside whether it was wet or not and would wear warmer clothes if needed. Normally I don't mind running in the rain at all, but given a bit of soreness in my left calf I have been taking no chances on making it worse. As I begin my active taper my mantra is "don't do anything stupid."

I woke up at 5 a.m. Usually on the weekend I sleep until at least 8, catching up from the long weekdays where I sometimes run twice, before and after work. But I woke up as if to an alarm this morning and knew I would not be able to go back to sleep. I immediately was aware of the silence - no rain - so got up and checked the weather. No rain until around noon. Well now, a window of opportunity!

I fed the livestock - good dog Baxter and good cat Lexie - and enjoyed a bagel with peanut butter and banana, a staple in my running diet. After about an hour and a half I got dressed, hopped on the treadmill, and did 4 miles while watching a DVR of F1 qualifying on TV.

I've found it is almost always at least 5o cooler at the harbor than at home, so I made sure I took some warmer clothes to Alhambra Hall at old Mount Pleasant. Good thing too, because when I arrive in my short sleeve top it is much cooler and I change into a long sleeve top.

I check the forecast one more time the rain chance has gone from 0 to about 50%. Yeah, these climate guys really generate confidence...not that I blame them, but I do. :)

Well, it’s just after breakfast
I’m in the road
And the weatherman lied

- Paul Simon


The run goes quite well, more like I expected last week's run would be. What is absolutely wonderful is there are far fewer people about. The Cooper River Bridge Run was on Saturday and apparently few wanted a redux which was fine with me. My pace was good, less than 30s over marathon pace (MP) for the entire run. 

The wind was at my back on the way out, but seems stronger and in my face on the return trip with a few light showers. Stiff wind is very distracting because I am not as stable on my prosthesis since I have no calf muscle for balance. I feel like walking on a high wire that far above the harbor and have to be careful not to topple over.

I finish strong, running the last three miles at MP or a little better and finish for a total of 15.25 miles. I recover quickly and feel the way I hoped I would, tired but not exhausted. A grackle flies close overhead and lands in the live oak that serves as my start/finish line and calls out. I take her picture below. I know, difficult to see but I do like the photo.

I remembered Jennifer called the grackles "angel birds" after seeing the movie "City of Angels." We had grackles in our backyard making the raucous racket they are known for and were irritating me. She said, well, what if they are angels and you are chasing them off? Well now, that won't do. Ever since that day I no longer find their song quite so aggravating. I think of them as...angel birds.


I walk under a magnolia, enjoy the view of Charleston Harbor, and with the light rain falling think what a wonder today - this moment - is. Small miracles. So perfect. So fleeting.

I go home, shower, and sleep.

In two weeks I will do this, get up, and run the 118th Boston Marathon.

And fly with angels.

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