Birthday Runs

I think it was my 55th birthday when I last ran my age in miles. In that 55th year I was first overall at Daybreak’s Climb a Mountain 34.5 mile run to the top of Mt. Spokane–complete with a son pedaling nearby and grandchildren cheering.
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I touched 70 km, give or take who knows what on my 70th birthday. In that 70th year I completed Le Grizz in 10:19:16 — it seemed a reasonable goal (actually, it was a failure in confidence–analysis on the way home fully indicated I should have believed in the subten-hour fifty-mile run being there).
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The 74th birthday approached and I gave some thought to this 31st year of running. I am happy to run without paying for it, but some goal ought to accompany one or two days of the year. I parked the car; turned to the trailhead, then paused… aha? Aha! I returned to the car, took my watch off and laid in on the seat, face up. I started down the trail.
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I ran some. I jogged some. I leaped two small puddles, with no noted grace. I ran up two short hills. I had to check a map, not wanting to end up back at the car “too” soon. I let a horsey person look at my map. I ran down a hill and smiled at a minor triumph. The first bottle was emptied some time ago. I looked at the half empty second bottle and looked at the map for a not-quite-direct route to the car. One voice was hoping for two hours. Two hours with no camera to provide rest points would be a nice reward. Disbelief led me to turn away for one last addition in time. The next junction put me on a wide trail, no horses had chewed up the ground here–I emptied the second bottle. A voice long quieted whispered, “Time to run.” The dancing hippos smiled and ran with me to the car. Ego led me to look in the window at my watch 2:14:37 … 37 is half of 74 and that is good enough for a birthday run.

This wonderful journey has not yet ended.

———-Run gently out there———-