As yet again, it has been too long since I have written a new post. I'm beginning to think that is my mantra on here. I would prefer a better one. Such as, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" or "Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind." (Hmm...why did I immediately go to two Disney movies for my mantras? I probably should have gone to the Jesus Prayer first. But then you would have been Jesus Juked, and nobody wants that.)
And as usual, I digress.
So several weeks ago (before Alaska!) I went on a lovely run with some lovely people. What do you do for fun on Saturday mornings, say around 8am? Still sleeping? Dreaming about brunch? Yeah, me too. But this particular Saturday, I hopped (correction: stumbled) into my car to meet up with some friends and headed to Ohiopyle. From there, we all packed into two cars, leaving the rest, and drove to the next town, Connellsville. Actually, this part was an adventure in itself as George decided to unwaveringly trust his GPS and we off-roaded for about 5 miles.
Then, the real adventure began. Armed with camelbacks and energy bars, we took off (well, George and Arthur did, the rest of us probably shouldn't be compared to jet engines) on the 17 mile trail back to Ohiopyle.
We naturally fell into pairs of like-legged runners- George and Arthur leading, Liz and Jean in the middle, and Rachel and I bringing up the rear. I tried not to be offended by how often our slower pace was mentioned.
The trail was beautiful and Rachel brought out a solid truth about runners: when we get together outside of runs, we talk about running, but while running, we talk about everything but.
Kevin was the true champion of the day, riding his bike between the group to provide drinks and moral support.
The last 5 miles were particularly rough as A.) I was not prepared to run 17 miles-- the most I ran between the Pittsburgh marathon and this run (one month later) was 10 miles...once. and B.) the entire 17 miles was uphill. Slightly uphill, but slightly doesn't matter when it's 17 miles worth. Okay, okay, there were two 4-foot sections that went downhill, but for once I am not exaggerating for dramatic effect. That was it.
At the end, we fell into the Falls City Pub for sustenance and found ourselves caught up in a rainbow of our own creation!
I think that is a good pictoral metaphor for the day. We created our own adventure, and therefore our own bright and shiny fun. Yes, I was exhausted. But not as much as I would have been in the past. I think I am toughening up. Or at least feeling the risidual toughness of my hard core friends. Either way, I am again thankful (another mantra!) Always thankful.