After a weekend in which I drove up to Northeast Iowa and back for visits with friends and former college professors, it was nice to have a little time to slow down this past weekend. Sue and I went to yoga on Saturday morning and class turned out to be laid back. The rest of the day I spent patiently cleaning our garage and mulching leaves with the mower as the wind was low and it was fairly easy to get the job done. Satisfying too.
Come Sunday morning the predicted rain was supposed to hold off until 10 a.m. That meant Sue and I had time to run and chose a loop of exactly seven miles up the west side of the Fox River from North Aurora and back down the east side. The second half of the route is hilly and rich with all sorts of deciduous trees. That sheltered us from a stiff southeast wind. Our run went along smoothly with the exception of a little soreness in my back that I blame on our aging mattress. So that might have to change.
It turned out there was a half-marathon being conducted on the east side of the trail. We laughed because we had not heard a word about the race or we’d likely have participated in it. As it stands, we’re headed up to run the Madison Half-Marathon in Wisconsin next weekend. Sue competed in that race a couple years ago and I dropped out with soreness in a calf I’d tweaked in training, so it will be good to try again.
This past Sunday we were running 10:00 pace south. That turned out to be against the flow of runners coming back north in the half marathon. Halfway back down toward North Aurora, we encountered a running friend of ours named Kris who is a registered nurse and volunteers as a Race Medic. They were keeping an eye out for people with injuries or illness while wearing their red-white and blue shirts and black kits strapped around their bodies.
We stopped to chat with Kris and her two trainees and I jokingly asked, “Can you fix a sore back?”She turned to her cohort and said, “Break out the Bio-Freeze.”
Tramp Stamp reveal
Now, I’d received a free sample of that Bio-Freeze stuff at some race this past year but had never used it. Now it was my turn to haul up my shirt and reveal the Tramp Stamp tattoo I’d gotten recently.
Naaaah, I’m just kidding about that.
But… wouldn’t this look absolutely great on a sixty year old man with love handles? You’re damn right it would. LOL.
Anyway, the BioFreeze Guy let loose with his spray (sans Tramp Stamp) and he must have been a bit of a rookie with the whole spray applicator thingy. He shot so much Bio-Freeze on my lower back that I jumped like a hapless critter in a Biology 101 experiment. I was shocked, in other words. I stood there for a moment wondering what came next? I felt the cold radiate across my lower back and thought, “This isn’t going to turn out well.”
Then I went numb. So we started up running again and I told Sue, “Well, this is either going to be really great or turn out really bad.” She laughed. We kept on running.
Then I noticed a new sensation and said, “Okay, is it bad if this stuff runs all the way down my butt crack?” She laughed. “Uhyeaahhh….that’s probably not good.”
Mercifully the Bio-Freeze stopped just before it hit the rear portal, so to speak. I just kept on running. I’m thinking a Bio-Frozen butthole is probably not a real good thing.
As we moved south along the trail the canopy of trees was still thick with bright fall leaves. The trail itself had plenty of leaves covering it as well. Our path looked like the Yellow Brick Road from the Wizard of Oz.
We finished our run just when the rain began to fall. On the way home our windshield wipers were whap-whapping and the wind picked up. The nasty shit was just beginning.
Back home we showered up, had some eats and settled on the couch to watch the New York City Marathon. We’d recorded it from the start, so I was content to watch it in our ‘real time’ while buzzing through the commercials. Sue could not resist the tension and looked up the results. She said, “Oh man, this is a really good race.”
I stuck my fingers in my ears and went “la la la la lahhhh” to keep from hearing any results.
My daughter joined us on the couch. She was sick with a cold and felt like crap. But she asked some good questions about the race. She’s never been a runner, yet her comments took specific notice of the footplant and strides among the leading women. I raised her well.
We watched Mary Keitany split the pack and then followed Shalane Flanagan coming in for third and thrilled at the overall efforts of every woman on the course. I especially liked seeing Molly Huddle do so well. And Allie Kiefer as well. Strong women. Strong performances.
Then came the men and it nearly turned into a sprinter’s duel at the end but the determination of the winner Lelisa Desisa won the day. He was tough and unwilling to lose.
That all ended around noon. Then the Chicago Bears game came on. The weather outside had turned even uglier. We lit the gas fireplace for warmth and mood and let the rain beat its watery head against the windows. Sue was tucked under her favorite blanket and I was laid flat on the sectional, sometimes dozing off.
Partway through the afternoon, my daughter commented: “I finally know the kind of weather that can keep you two inside.”
We all laughed. “I mean it,” she observed. “Most of the time you’re out doing something. And Dad, this is the most laid back I’ve seen you in a long time.”
One of our cats was sound asleep on my gut at the time.
Pumpkin spice kind of day
I was loving it. Her boyfriend made even more hot chocolate, this time with pumpkin spice rum thrown in for good measure. That evening, Sue and I collapsed on the couch for even more TV, catching up on the last hour of last season’s Outlander series before starting the new season.
Yes, it was a laid back day and a generally laid back weekend compared to many this past year. A perfect start to November in many ways. But next weekend we’ll be back in action racing the streets of Madison, Wisconsin where I hope to finish thirteen-p(o)int-one miles before my aging hips tighten up. That’s why I ran three miles this morning and went to work on my hips with a yellow stretchy band until my hip flexors felt like old pieces of gum.
I may be laid back and loving it, but I’m not dead yet. Let’s go for it.