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I Needed That

I anticipated that I was going to have a great run…. The jury is in….that run was WAY better than I had anticipated.

Who-Ya!

Part I – Heat and humidity – It’s difficult to delay a start time when you’ve been anticipating running all day long.  AT 7 pm, I could no longer hope that the heat index would drop to a reasonable level.  Even with the heat, the anticipation put a spring to my step.  It felt like one of those times when I’m playing with the kids in the yard and they are chasing me with water balloons.  I replayed that visual because it was just fun to imagine the boys chasing me over the bridge armed with latex bombs.  In time, I decided that it was wiser to discard the image or I might find myself running home to bombard myself with water balloons just to escape the sweltering conditions.   

Part II – Beast – Oh, yes, I let the beast out.  I ran.  I leaped.  I took turns at dangerous speeds and angles.  I dodged vehicles (not literally, so you can relax).  When I wanted to go faster I just did it.  I laughed in the face of danger (stones and rocks).  I conquered the urban jungle.  I was the monkey, the eagle, and the lion.    

On good thing about not running with a garmin or a watch is that when you perceive yourself as running fast, you get to go on believing that you were.  You can’t take the wind out of your own sails by checking the digital information and discovering that you, actually, were slow.  Without the digital data, I can keep my runner’s high intact.  

Part III – Play Ball –   Recently, The Urban Runner challenged us to climb a tree during our runs.  As I, the beast, entered the park, I began prospecting for my challenge tree.  Howbeit, the prospecting was short-lived. 

Which tree?

This plentiful park hosts our little league baseball fields.  Empty baseball fields flood my mind with childhood memories.   I was lured to the field to relive a particular memory.  Like Fields of Dreams, I entered a different time and place when I passed through the fence opening.

My Field of Dreams

I swaggered up to home plate staring down the pitcher.  (I ignored the real life guy that drove up in the truck looking at me strangely).  I got into my batter’s stance.  The pitch came in to the sweet spot.  I swiftly swung and hit that imaginary ball over the heads of the outfielders.  I took off for 1st as the ball rolled out to the fence.  I headed to 2nd where a glance toward the outfield told me I could make it to third.   I took a wide turn around 3rd and knew I could stretch this baby to a homer.  One hard smack of my foot on home plate brought the team out of the dug out as I cheerfully jogged back.  Illusory high fives were given as a big smile sat upon my face.   

Then I made a loop through the out field.  The other team’s number three batter was up.  I had to be on my toes.  Wasting no time, the fictional batter hit a hard one.  It was high in the air making a long arc over the infield.  I kept my eye on it.  Running. Running.  It was between me and the center fielder.  I locked my visual on it.  Kept. My. Eye… mit out, opened, my feet pounded the grass.  I moved by instinct.  There was no need for thinking.  I stretched further, leaned… then smack.  Two inches from the ground the ball was encapsulated in my mit.  I totally robbed that batter of a spectacular triple hitter.  Who-Ya!

Back to the tree climbing, I put one barefoot on a couple of trees but didn’t feel ready to master them.  Maybe next time.

After a home run and an outfield steal.

Part IV – Walk – No matter how much I intend to run the entire time when I go smiley I walk.  Turns out, I don’t care that I walked a portion of my run.  It still felt good.  I picked my feet back up after a while but only as I felt like it. 

Part V – Pool –  Sweet delightful cool water (89 deg F) after a humid, hot, but utterly delightful run.  I really enjoy swimming in my running gear. 

Five different parts adding up to one heck of a smiley run that went way beyond my expectations.  Boy, did I need that.  I might not even bite anyone’s head off at work today.

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A Grand Summer Run

Parameters of a Grand Summer Smiley Run
Day: Wednesday
State: Illinois
Temperature: 86 deg F
Time: 7:45 pm – 8:10 pm
Shoes: None
Outfit: so little you’d call it a swim suit
Route: 75 ft circle

You’re asking yourself how a 75 ft circle could be a smiley run. If you aren’t, you should be.

Resistance: 4 ft of water
Water temperature: 92 deg F

So, yes, I was wearing a swimsuit.

I created one heck of a whirl pool for the kids on Wednesday night. I ran hard in the hot pool for at least 20 minutes. It was like a workout I’d never gotten before. My legs ached like I’d run 10 miles when I went to bed. The kids had so much fun playing in the whirlpool current that I smiled every minute of that run.

Who says you have to run on pavement or dirt? Isn’t summer grand?

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