18.

Today I ran 18 miles. This may seem long or ridiculous to you but I have run 18 miles many times in the last 8 years so it is not particularly remarkable. I have 27 days until my 10th marathon. I have had a really hard time training this season. I am in a constant state of pain when running and I’m slow. Slower than I was in my first marathon in 2003 when I did little to no training at all. It will all be worth it to run with the world’s best running partner and fellow Ironman, MM, but it has been a long road.

As I slogged away for over 3 hours today, I tried to focus on anything but pain. I compiled a list of all the things in my life in the last 10 years (that’s another post entirely), tried to dwell on what I’ve done in past training that works, and tried to be courteous to all people I encountered and that is what I shall focus on briefly here.

I say hello or good morning when I pass you. It is just in my nature to say hello to random strangers as I believe it is a nice way to encourage positive human interaction.  If you are intensely focused on your workout and you ignore me, I can understand to some degree. If you don’t hear me because of your headphones blasting, ok. If we pass each other at 6:15am, you don’t speak English and I startle the crap out of you, I apologize. But if you look straight at me like a psycho killer because I say good morning to you and your two cute poodles on Cradlerock Way just before the Windharp path, well…then you just need a slap with a happy stick. It was not like I said “go F yourself” or ” you’re ugly”; I said good morning. A basic human greeting between the hours of 5am and noon. It makes me sad to see people so completely uninterested in this brief kind of interaction. I do not know this person, he was a Yankees fan according to his chapeaux, but I hope that perhaps he simply had gas or something when I greeted him. I hope that he is happy in his daily goings and has love because the brief moment I spent with him made me temporarily afraid that I was going to be verbally splayed.

Dear reader, I hope that you have the courage to continue to say hello to those you pass and do so even when you receive a frown. There is no harm in making positive effort to renew grace in our hamlet of Columbia.

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