Wednesday, May 13, 2009
3:30am: Part VII
Is it time? Already? I just laid there listening to the "overnight" forecast that was clearly recorded last night for the overnight wee hours. "G E T U P !!!", I shouted ever so softly in my head. Wobble, wobble...scoot, scoot...out to the kitchen and a pile of dried dishes that I washed the night before. Unfortunately, I have to get through those pots and pans...silently...to get to the espresso pot that lurks below. It is with that blessed pot that I will come to life. A clang here...a clang there...no one awakes and I get my espresso pot, pack that Lavazza espresso in, and start the 2min, 30sec brew process stovetop. Ahhh...nothing like the aroma of fresh brewed espresso in the morning...or even the superground fine grinds. Out the back window, the shadows are cast from the tall trees indicating Mr. Moon's beckoning once again. It has been far too long since a blissful jaunt over Mr. Moon's 7 mile route by his light.
Peace. Quiet. Calm. As I lace up one my many pairs of Brooks running shoes, this time the 400 mile red Radius pair, I'm on the outside very quiet but on the inside simply bursting with excitement to get out that garage door. Toeing the road, headlamp on my head just in case I'm chased by a canine again, I head on out of my sleeping neighborhood and head west on Mr. Moon's route. It's his route due to it's rollercoaster type of profile and absolute absence of man-made light. This creates the perfect landscape for a gorgeous, Mr. Moon-lit course of relaxation. I'm a goal setter, so I set a goal to run extremely quiet. Call it a "peace" run...calm...quiet. I pass by the large oak tree marking one mile and focus on my smooth stride, gently striking the pavement not to make a sound and rolling off to complete the transition. Perhaps I can make by the house on top of the hill just past two miles where that dog normally comes out barking. I enter the hills but as I crest the last one, there he is...that big, furry, fat, white dog...barking his head off. I keep my eyes on the road ahead, not wanting to stir him more by seeing the reflection from my eyes, and he stops cold in his driveway paying me no further attention. Hmmm...he appears to have sensed the peace...the calm...the quiet of this run.
With my mind quiet, my thoughts drift off to my girls. I stayed up an hour past my 8 year old's bedtime with her last night to work on her missed homework from our Florida trip and to work through some math obstacles that have thrown themselves in front of her. It was a good time...just her and me working together and spending some quality time with each other. Simple, I know...but precious all the same. I told her to not worry about finishing quizzes and tests first in the class. "Check your work. Be sure you answered all the questions. Turn in a quality assignment," I told her. As we prayed together at bedtime as her heavy eyelids were falling, she repeated that mantra taking it to sleep with her. As I do in many things, I said it to myself and said it again this morning as I ran. Have I ran a good training schedule this year? Have I prepared for the challenge before me in a few short weeks? Have I completed a quality assignment ready to turn in? The teacher will do her grading and hold my prize in her hand...a handmade kettle from Peru... Grading to be completed by Noon on Sunday, June 7th.
This time around as I passed that white, scruffy dog, he was sprawled out in the moonlight in his driveway, seemingly uninterested in my virtually-gliding-form-of-running. I had never seem him laying down before. I passed without incident and back over the rollercoaster hills I ran. Amazingly, at 5:15am, there is already morning light in the eastern sky...not orange like sunrise, but blue. Light enough to yank Mr. Moon's shadow beside me away. That's alright...he's still shining bright and continues to offer up assistance along the way. For the last few miles, my thoughts shockingly turn to running and how to best spend my last big training weekend before the Kettle...3 weeks out. I decide it best to run long and slow for 30-40 miles on Friday then enjoy a few easy hours in the form of a recovery run on Saturday on the trails again. That, combined with lots of walking in downtown Cleveland on Sunday rooting lots of Vertical Runners through the Cleveland Marathon, should do just fine before I kick off my three-week-taper down to the Kettle.
Home at last, I'm not surprised one bit to find the family still asleep and undisturbed. After a gentle nod to Mr. Moon thanking him for the run, I duck inside to begin the other "half" of the day...that of dad, husband, and government worker. Deep down, though, a passion-driven runner through and through...and one thankful more and more every day...for every step, for every breath, for every mile, and every official and more so, unofficial finish line I cross. Passion...you've got to have it >>> and with it, there are no limits. For me, I find that passion on the trails...and if you share that same passion with me, sit down, relax, crank up your speakers, and get your heart pumpin' while you share that passion with others in the following video by Matt Hart. Enjoy!