This morning I loaded up and took off for my long run. Another 6 miles to conquer in the heat. Today my route took me off the beaten sidewalk over a couple of bridges into a part of town where I don't normally run. It was marvelous. I struggled up the bridges (because we have no hills, I run up small bridges) just for the unbridled joy of going fast-fast down them. There was a brief respite from the sun and headwind, and I realized at one point that I was - for me, anyway - flying. "Now," I thought, "now I can call myself a runner."
All that changed once I came back over the final bridge and hit the home stretch. I'd had the foresight to stop at both water fountains on the sidewalk side on the way out, and was smart enough to hit them both on the way back. Having removed my hat and soaked it in the water once again (only to carry it, stupid thing, I only wear it now because my cute-girl sunglasses are ridiculous for running), I began to tick off my landmarks to carry me the rest of the way. I had another thought coming.
"Right about now, I should see it up ahead," I told myself. Um, no. Maybe just a little farther? Have I miscalculated? Once I get to the trashcan, surely I'll see the first neutral-ground water fountain. The trashcan came and went, and there was no water fountain in sight, only a sad orange cone where a water fountain should be, and was. Maybe a little more, to the next trashcan? Negative, soldier. Another cone, and still no water fountain. By this point, I'm miserable and thoroughly in need of water. Walk breaks begin to ensue. I've begun to realize that there are no more water fountains on the neutral ground, that the city has removed them all, and I am in tears because I. Am. Thirsty. More thirsty than I think I've ever been. I can't go anymore. I have bonked.
Somehow I made it back to the car, sans water. I was humbled by a 6-mile run this morning. Fortunately there is a convenience store about a half-mile from the parking lot...I think I drank that bottle of Gatorade faster than I've ever ingested anything. Needless to say, we hit the running store this afternoon for a water belt for me to use next week. 22 ounces of cold goodness, thankyouverymuch, because next weekend it's SEVEN miles. I will not be humbled like that again.
On another note, our weekend started off with a thud. Le Snoog somehow contracted his first tummy bug, and I was on vomit patrol all day yesterday. It's amazing how dirty and nasty you feel by the end of the day when you take care of someone who can't keep down 2 teaspoons of water at a time. The worst part of it was seeing him afraid of what was happening - having your stomach contents forcefully ejected is disturbing under the best of circumstances. On the upside, for the past two days I've had the joy of holding Hurricane Toddler in the recliner as he napped. I don't get to hold him the way I used to when he was an ittybitty, and I treasure the moments when he melds his warm little body with mine and dozes off. I've never had anyone love me the way this child does, and it's awe-inspiring. So what if I had to fold my stinky, wet, nasty, sore, dehydrated body into a very uncomfortable position to accommodate him? It was worth the pain getting up - every step.
For both of us, I guess, that which did not kill us made us stronger.