Tuesday, March 10, 2009
3:30am: Part VI
I stood once again bedside last night pondering whether or not to set the alarm for 3:30am or 4:30am. 3:30am for a run. 4:30am for another rest day. The 50K was only a few days ago and humanly so, I still have some aches and such so perhaps another rest day was in order. Decision made: 3:30am alarm for a run...
"Is it 3:30am already? Yep...sure enough." I rub the sleepies from my eyes, slowly slither out of bed not to wake Marjie, turn off the radio (they're giving the "overnight" forecast still!) and "YES! Light is beaming around the curtains!" I peek around the corner into the bathroom and "YES! He IS back! It's about dang time!" I've been dying for a run with Mr. Moon! OK, nothing will stop this freight train from moving forward today. I quickly, probably more so than normal, get to the kitchen, pack the aging espresso pot with some espresso, set it on the stovetop on Hi and make my lunch. Same 'ol stuff today: Whole wheat penne with some feta, a couple of tangerines, a banana, an apple, a Kashi bar, and some of Marjie's vegetarian chile full of lentils and other beans. (gee, that's a lot of fiber!) I scoot to the front window to peer at the sky one more time just to make sure I'm not hallucinating and sure enough, he is high in the sky and FULL. "Moonlit run here I come!!!" First things first: hard-boiled egg lathered in ketchup and espresso pre-run: CHECK! Balance the checkbook: CHECK! (that means transfer money from savings to checking!) Clear the e-mail inbox: CHECK! I glance at the clock and it reads just past 4am and it's almost as if I can hear the seconds ticking by like I'm watching an episode of Jack Bauer saving the world from terrorists in "24." You know, I haven't missed a single episode...EVER. Last night's episode is DVR'd along with "Heroes" for some juicy watchin' later. DVR'd...a new English verb for Webster, perhaps? I haven't missed an episode of Heroes, either. I love edge-of-your-seat boob-tube watchin'! Time to head out...the clock's-a-tickin'...
As I step out into the crisp morning air, I quickly notice a much more dimmed landscape as compared to what I saw only moments ago from inside the house. The clouds have pulled their veil across Mr. Moon. "How very rude!" However, he is so bright this morning that even though I cannot see one bit of him, his powerful light is spreading across and above the cloud layer and the residual light is enough to light the way. Immediately, a parallel thought creeps into my mind: "Can a light so powerful remain unseen but still light the way? Can a god, MY God, be so powerful to light MY way but physically remain unseen?" A unanimous "Yes!" is heard by the coyotes and stray cats in the nearby woods. As I hit the road, I pray for a run that is effortless, timeless, and filled with nothing but the positive this life has to offer. Only 72 hours out from a multi-hour 31+ miles in the mud, I still have some lingering sore spots but I've found that once I'm running, I'll feel better. Ironically, I'll probably be sore again after I return. As I slip out of the confines of my neighborhood and into the adjoining countryside, the road is clearly visible even though Mr. Moon remains hidden. I'm feeling far better than expected and so far, so good. I return to my thoughts on this light so powerful that it illuminates without it's source being seen. A light to guide, a light to follow, a light so powerful that I can drive my stake in the ground and proclaim: "This light I will follow. This light will be my launching pad, my foundation." I have found during these days of national strife and an outpouring of negativity from the media, that having a bedrock in something other than myself or anything else found in this world doesn't quite cut it. A "firm foundation" so as to build upon is needed. A song continues to run through my head this morning by the group Casting Crowns that has a verse in it that says basically "I'd rather have a tent on a rock, than a castle in the sand." Isn't that the truth?! Think back a few years when just about anyone could get a "castle" mortgage regardless of whether they could afford it or not. Wouldn't they rather have that tent today instead of a castle foreclosure?? The same can be said for absolutely anything else in life and should be. Marriage, career, friendships, the latest fad-diet, ultra-marathon training schedule...you name it...it had better be grounded in something...or someONE solid or eventually, that tidal wave will come crashing onto the sand.
I cross Mile 2 which is the bottom of the "cereal bowl" section of the roller coaster hills I run on Mr. Moon mornings. It's 33F out but I don't have a hat or gloves on and it feels like it's 50F out. I turn my 1/4 zip top into 1/8 zip to let some air in and cool down. I'm feeling really good and the pace quickens. I approach the top of the hill and try to remain very quiet as a dog occasionally likes to give a chase at this hilltop farm. I think people are starting to think that since the temps are going up, they can just let their dogs run free in the morning. How wrong they are! As I pass on through some more open farmland, I turn the corner by the Catholic church and cross the small bridge over the creek and finally, Mr. Moon is out in all his splendor. Full illumination of the sky around me. As the church disappears behind me, another dog, near the church, clearly caught a glimpse of me because boy-oh-boy, was he upset! It sounded like he actually got closer to me indicating he may still be there by the church...in the road, upon my return. I make it out to the 3.5 mile point and make my u-turn only to put Mr. Moon at my back. As I re-approach the church, I don't hear a dog. Just as I pass the church which is now on my left, a loud barking dog is on my right and nearly makes my heart skip a beat. I see a shadow and with the moon shining, it makes this supposed dog look 6 feet tall in the adjacent yard. I can't tell if he's moving towards me or not so of course, I get my legs turnin' over even quicker. As I turn and look ahead to the small bridge, WHOA!!!! There are FIVE deer standing right in front of me! (I'm losing my breath again just typing this!) They clearly get a glimpse of me and all dash into the nearby woods. All I see is white cotton-tail rear-ends bouncing across the landscape. Geez...nothin' like getting me out of my "Mr. Moon" zone!!! I make the turn onto the roller-coaster hills again and all is well again. With thoughts of firm foundations still fresh in my head, I turn to thoughts on the positive effects from doing so.
Positive? In this economy? Jobless rate the highest in 25 years and I'm to be positive?! Yes....and yes, again. I fully believe with every fiber in my being that regardless of what challenge is before you, you can and must find the positive to get through unless misery is what you seek. I know so many people who just can't ever be positive. You know...the kind who will argue the sky isn't blue when there isn't a cloud in the sky? Surely, you know these types of people. Positivity, happiness, joy...they are all choices. We must....I must...choose. I gotta tell you, though...it's much easier with a firm foundation. That makes it WAY easier. I'm not talking about artificial, superficial, fake positivity here. That's simply hypocritical and means nothing. I'm also not saying we're not human...because we are and we'll all have bad days and negative garbage will creep on in. There's no avoiding it. It's how we...how does it go...???....turn that frown upside down??
OK, the last few miles and I swear, I nearly went topless for the last mile. It felt so warm! Honestly, I almost did but then I thought: "It is 33F out. There is a breeze, too. Don't be stupid." Enough said, self! It stayed on and I got home fully clothed and bummed I didn't have time to run more. A little glance over my right shoulder, a fist pump with Mr. Moon...and in I went to my sleeping family. 57 minutes wasn't bad for a 7 mile recovery run.
After I pour down a dose of Recoverite, I sneak into the bedroom towards the shower to get ready for work but am stopped by my awaking love-of-my-life who asks: "Did you go run?" "Yes, Ma'am!" I reply. I think to myself: "If she only knew........"