by Brian D. Meeks
Chapter 35 Day 35
One day bleeds into the next. The night from day 34 becomes the morning of day 35.
Jane Alshouse Arpy, a friend of both Steve and Jarred, has a daughter who lives in Muskegon. Jane’s daughter and son-in-law were gracious enough to offer a their home as a reprieve from the RV. When day 34 ened around 9:00 p.m., Jarred had little difficulty in finding the house. Life in the RV gets the job done, but it isn’t overly comfortable. Steve and Jarred were thrilled to have a place to crash.
When they arrived, the family dog jumped out of the window and rushed to greet them. Jane’s grandson made a couple of Lego robots, and both Steve and Jarred thought they were exceptionally cool. Sometimes a simple thing like playing with Legos is exactly what one needs after so many days on the road.
Jarred was able to run a load of laundry and then relax with his hosts. They told stories, sipped some vodka and cranberries, and had a nice evening. Steve went to bed early.
Steve got his nods in and day 35 had arrived. Outside the day was waiting, full of sunshine and optimism. Steve walked out of the house to a wonderful surprise. He had no idea she was making the trip from Waukee.
Sara Hunt, (aka Laughy), a RAGBRAI friend and Steve’s massage therapist, was waiting outside with her dog Sophia.
In the months leading up to the run, it was Sara who helped Steve’s muscles recover from the seemingly endless training. She donated her services and without her help, he couldn’t have managed to log the miles needed. Steve was thrilled. There were hugs.
Sara, who ran the Chicago Marathon, back in the day, showed up to provide moral support. Sophia was excited for a trip to a place with a lot of trees and a big lake.
Jarred got the day going, as he usually did, by cooking breakfast in the RV, which was still parked in the driveway. It was odd in fun sort of way. Steve ate and then it was time to head out.
He would have loved a nice soft trail, but it was not to be, as his only choice was asphalt. I wasn’t long before the black beneath his feet was scorching. Steve could tell that there was swelling and it became a serious source of worry. “If the feet go, then the running stops.”
As he ran along, his mind, deep in a state of worry, dug out a memory of something he’d read. He had never tried it before, but decided it was worth a shot.
At the next break, Steve asked Jarred to drill holes in the bottom of his shoes. With a eighth inch bit, Jarred soon added approximately forty holes in each shoe. The theory is that the alteration would allow the heat to escape. It worked.
The rest of the day was much like the ones before. The scenery of trees, dunes and endless green, fell away and yet another marathon was complete.
Jarred, Steve, Sara and Sophia piled back in the RV and spent the evening in the parking lot of a Texas Road House.
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