Today’s Morning Stretch … is a cheat, at least for me. Describe your last physical exercise. (Picking up your coffee cup doesn’t count!)
I went for a long run (thirteen miles) early this morning; the first predawn long distance run in a quite a while. I began at 5 am and the start was sluggish, but once my body woke up, I started feeling pretty good. A weak, but faithful moon was in the sky; a thin river of clouds lay above the eastern horizon. Just above the clouds, the moon looked like it was being slowly washed away.
As I ran down Spring Lakes Road, a brightly lit tractor-trailer would occasionally make its way down 287 in the distance. Through the darkness, they looked like cigar-shaped flying saucers skimming the ground. Rocks and ruts in the dirt road were bare shadows as a result of the weak light cast by the moon. That made my arrival at the shoulder of 287 all the more enjoyable; on the smooth, flat asphalt I could maintain a steady pace and it was easier on my ankles. My achilles had warmed up by then and the minor pain disappeared. When a south-bound truck rumbled by, I watched my shadow grow in front of me until it flashed behind; and then I drafted in the truck’s wake. Gradually my pace increased.
I spent a while thinking about a short story I’ve just completed for a contest. As matter of fact, it needs to be post-marked today! The story is titled Moonlight Shepherd and is bound to be controversial, at least in some quarters. It is about a little girl who thinks she sees Jesus on the prairie under the bright moonlight. An opportunistic evangelist sees her as a chance to increase his market share. The result is both dramatic and thought-provoking.
I also dwelt momentarily on the slow sales of Harvest of the Heart. After a promising start, they are anemic at best. Of course, I’ve done no marketing of late, as I concentrate on writing, so I guess that is to be expected.
It was only in the last mile that the sky became light enough for me to see my watch. I was pleased that, in the last mile, it appeared I had dropped below my goal pace for the Boston Marathon, which is only four and a half weeks away.
My nanny duties were supposed to start at 7 am, but I couldn’t see my watch for most of the run, so I didn’t keep track of time or note the distance. As a result, I had to guess. I’d planned on doing twelve and getting close to 6:40 … in time for a shower. A slow early pace and the extra mile brought me home at 6:49. Luckily, Chaitan had just gone back to sleep and I had time for a shower and this post!