by Brian D. Meeks
Chapter 22 Day 22
He didn’t know when he would see her, but knowing she was on the way was a delight. Soon, Steve would have a friend running with him for part of the day.
He had about eight miles in when a rental car pulled up along side of him. Donna Lynch had arrived! She had made her way from Colorado to Day 22. In not time she found a spot for the car and was lacing up her shoes.
Steve said, “It couldn’t have come at a better time. It was nice to have a woman classing up the joint.”
The last few days haven’t gone very well food wise. It is getting harder and harder for Jarred to get him to eat much solid food, except at the evening meal. When this happens there is only one choice, liquid calories. It isn’t the best solution as the various sports drinks and smoothies have taken a toll on Steve’s mouth. Sores are beginning to form.
Steve has had some really good days for running, but there may be some warm days ahead. Nobody ever said running around Lake Michigan was easy. Actually, nobody has every really said anything about running around Lake Michigan…until Steve.
Donna and Steve ran to an overlook and stopped to take a break. It was a stunning view. Steve began to wax nostalgic, as it reminded him of the day on the dunes when he first thought about this run. He told Donna the story as they stood looking across the ocean of lake. Then he said, “When you look at that, isn’t the first thing you think of that you could run around it?”
Donna said, “No.”
“Well, isn’t it in the top 5.”
“No, absolutely not.”
“Okay, maybe top 100, though. It is so beautiful.”
“I might think about biking around it, but not running.”
They continued running around the lake.
Donna likes to exercise, too, but didn’t grow up as a runner. She played high school softball.
In 2001, Donna went to Colorado to visit a friend. They were having a lovely time and eventually the friend got her drunk on margaritas and started talking about her triathlon experiences. There were more margaritas and then eventually sleep.
The next day, recovering from the merriment, her friend thrust an entry form in front of her. “What’s this?”
“You promised you’d go with me next year, here’s the form.”
I imagine that is exactly how the sport of Ironman started, a few people sitting in a bar, “Hey, let’s go running tomorrow. A quick 26.2 miles,” he said, trying to impress the very fit brunette sitting next to them.
Not to be outdone, his drunken friend said, “Why don’t we do 112 miles on the bikes, first?”
“Great idea! Pass me the chips.”
The attractive woman who was likely way out of both their leagues chirped, “It would be really cool if you swam 2.4 miles in the ocean first. If you do the swimming, I’ll come, too.”
The guys were stuck, and a sport was born.
When Donna finished her first half marathon, she waited at the end for her friends who were doing the full marathon, which is two half marathons glued together by an unreasonable level of optimism on the part of the runners.
She watched, with interest, the people finishing the marathon. They looked sick. One woman needed an IV immediately. Some collapsed at the end. She wondered why anyone would do anything so silly.
Now she runs marathons, but not before she swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112.
When asked how the team was doing, she said, “Two things struck me immediately, one, was how fantastic Steve looks. He is much less beat up than I expected. There weren’t blisters on his feet and he seemed to be holding up really well. The second thing was that Jarred is flipping amazing.”
Since she brought up Jarred, and with the recent flip flop on his position about cats, I asked, “How do you feel about cats?”
“I’m going to have to side with my dog, Zorro, who hates cats. Every time he sees one he starts to bark.”
This would be a great place to put in a segue, but there wasn’t one, Donna changed subject on me quicker than she changes from biking to running, and said, “I have never seen flies larger than they were in Merlin, Michigan. My humming birds, in Colorado, are smaller than the flies.”
Insect hoard aside, Steve made it to the end of another day. He sounded tired, but mentioned how excited he was to be heading south, tomorrow. He will need to improve his eating, and the temperatures are going to be inching up a bit over the coming days. He may be attacked by bird sized flies and turn this story into a Hitchcock novel. I hope not, though. (Though, it would surely get us a best seller and help with the movie rights…I digress)
Tomorrow, Steve will run. Donna will too, and she wrote on Facebook, “Monday I am running for Angie, sister of my best friend Jen Janvrin. She lost the cancer fight months after giving birth to her 3rd child. The world lost a beautiful woman in the prime of her life, a wonderful mother, a loving sister, wife and daughter. Remember Angie tomorrow and help cure cancer,” and then she left a link to the site.
We still need help getting the word out, so, please use the little drop down box and “share” on Facebook or Twitter. Both would be even better.
Run Cannon and Donna Run.
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