We are officially in the tapering phase of our training for the full marathon. Looking back, our long runs have definitely been interesting and full of both humor and adventure. I always say that you have to do your best to make every run interesting and find a way to have fun with it. Thus, I have listed some fun moments from our training that I thought you might enjoy.
We often see lots of squirrels on our runs. They are always standing on the sidewalk just sort of watching us run by. On a recent run I posed a question to Rachel about our furry friends.
Raul: Do you ever think there’s a chance that a squirrel will stick its hand up and try and give you a high five when you run by?
Rachel: I’m not sure I’d want it to…it could have rabies.
Raul: I suppose, but I don’t think I would be worried about that. I would be more worried I would miss its hand on the high five.
Rachel: Do they have claws?
Raul: That’s a good question. I would think so since they climb so much, but I really don’t know. I’d still want to give it a high five.
Sometimes on a run there is no rational explanation for what I say or what I come up with. I just try to keep it interesting.
Raul: We have to keep going. We can do this Donatella!
Raul: Yeah. I’ve decided to make running names for us. I think a good running name for you is Donatella.
Raul: Now you must make a running name for me. It could be Michelangelo, Leonardo or even Rafael. Anything you like.
Rachel: Ok, your name will be Howard.
Rachel: Just kidding. It will be Michelangelo
Raul: I like that. But, I assumed you would say Rafael. He used to be my favorite ninja turtle. But, I guess Michelangelo was cool. He had nunchucks.
Rachel: So we’re ninja turtles?
Raul: I guess so. I think it’s because we keep seeing the turtles in the pond. I put an A on the end of your name to make it feminine. Anyway, look at the sunrise Donatella. She’s beautiful huh matey?
Rachel: Wait, now you’re a pirate and Irish too?
Raul: I guess my accent was a mixture of Pirate, Irish, British and Italian. Why did I add matey in there?
Rachel just keeps laughing.
The great thing about the park that we run in is that there are Beavers that often come out during the early morning or late evening hours.
Raul: Look, there’s a Beaver. (I scream out in a loud British accent) Helllooooo Beeeeaaavvveeerrrr!! Top of the morning to you sir!!
Rachel is laughing.
I see a person running about 10 yards from us. I had no idea they were there.
Raul (whispering to Rachel): Why didn’t you tell me there was someone coming?
Rachel: I didn’t know you were going to talk to the beaver in a loud British accent. Actually, I didn’t know you were going to try and talk to the Beaver at all.
Raul: Have you not seen Chronicles of Narnia? Cause it’s the Chronic (What) cles of Narnia. Yeah, it’s the Chronic (What) cles of Narnia!! I’m getting loud again aren’t I?
Rachel (laughing): Yes.
The hardest part of many of our runs is when someone attempts to pass us, or when we have to pass someone. We are very competitive runners. Even on a slow run we still hate it when people pass us.
Raul: There’s someone coming up behind us.
Rachel: I saw them.
Raul: It’s fine. Let them pass. We need to keep our pace. We have a lot of miles to go.
The person is closing in.
Raul: They are getting closer.
Rachel: You said to stay slow.
Raul: Yeah, I guess we shouldn’t wear ourselves out.
Rachel suddenly starts running faster
Raul: You’re going too fast.
Rachel: I am?
Raul: No, I think it’s good to increase our pace a bit.
We manage to stay ahead of the person fast approaching. It’s killing us but we do not want to be passed.
On our 21 mile run we got lost after running off of our path in the park and into a nearby neighborhood full of trees. We kept running toward the shaded sides of the sidewalk, not really paying attention to where we were going or how we would get back. We just wanted to get away from the sun.
Rachel: I think we’re going the wrong way.
Raul: No, this is right. We will just turn right up here and we’ll be back where we started.
We turn the corner.
Rachel: It says “dead end.”
Raul: Hmmm. That’s funny, I could have sworn – well, let’s just circle around and we’ll find our way back.
Rachel: Did we turn left there?
Raul: Sure, why not.
We turn, but again it’s the wrong way.
Rachel: Should we run back out to the main road and get back to the park from there?
Raul: No. We’ll just keep trying to find our way back. The way I look at it, I would rather be lost in a nice neighborhood because if one of us faints at least we are right in front of a house.
We eventually find our way back to the park.
Before training for the marathon neither of us had ever really seen a snake in the wild. I am not talking about your basic grass snake. Oh no, I am talking King Snakes, Water Moccasins and Rat Snakes. We can’t even count all the snakes we have encountered thus far.
A few weeks ago we were running into the woods portion of our run when I saw a big black snake with its head up, ready to strike. Rachel was a few steps behind me.
Raul: Watch out!
Raul: Watch out…a snake!!
Rachel: Oh my God!?!
Rachel nearly whips around to run the other direction. I do not want to have to mess up our mileage and stray from our path.
Raul: Just run fast…really fast!!
I run off ahead and get past the snake. Rachel does the same and we look back. The snake is slithering across the path. Near the end of our run I turn to Rachel and say, “What the hell was I thinking!?!?!?!”
More recently Rachel and I were nearing the end of one of our runs when we were surprised by a huge snake resting right next to the sidewalk.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Rachel jumping toward me and a huge snake (the biggest we have ever seen) moving back beside her. His head pops up.
Raul: Aghhhhh (like a girl) Oh myyyyy Gooooodddddd!!!!!!!!!! Aghhhhhh!!!
I am screaming like a girl and Rachel is freaking out too, but surprisingly more calm than me. A woman screams out at us from about 30 yards away (she had run past us a little bit before we saw the snake)…
Woman: I’m so sorry. I should have told you! I thought it would have moved passed by then.
Raul (to Rachel): Yeah, that would have helped.
The great thing is, we just kept running. Needless to say though, we are always on the lookout for snakes now.
Our training is not over and I am sure there are many stories I have yet to mention. We are still working hard to get to where we need to be and trying our best to really have fun doing it. Like I said, you have to do your best to make the most of every single run and just keep going. There’s always a start and there’s always a finish, but it’s what happens in the middle that you remember the most.