Last run of the decade


Yes, she actually uses that many exclamation points.

I’m running on the track on another too-hot day in December (76, for those of you keeping score. Dude knows all too well.) I’m running without the earmuff headphones, which apparently died yesterday. Only the right side is working, and I’ve become accustomed to that stereo thing all the kids are talking about.


She’s old, even by my standard. She can barely walk just a little bit, each step more painful than the last. I have no idea where she came from or how she made it all the way to the bench next to the track.


Finally, I see him. Think of the kids in “The Incredibles.” Now speed him up times two. That’s Billy. He’s got a soccer ball, a pair of sneakers and a level of energy that the 5-Hour Energy guys would love to cram into a little bottle. He’s on the opposite side of the field. “I’M OVER HERE!” Gramma is totally freaking out that he’s so far away. I am Switzerland.

As I plod along at my 13:45 pace, the blur comes past me. It’s Billy, sprinting along the track while kicking a soccer ball. I hate 6-year-old showoffs but I’m too slow to react, so I fail in my attempt to trip him. Gramma finally coaxes him within a safe distance. I continue.

“BILLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” As I come around the front turn again, Billy is back on the other side of the field. He’s a puppy chasing butterflies. It’s hopeless for Gramma. I mentally become Billy’s guardian. If he takes off into the street I’m going to give chase, although I doubt I’m much of a match. Maybe he’ll get winded after a few miles?

The scenario repeats itself almost every lap, till finally Gramma coaxes him into leaving. He trots off, still kicking his ball, as she makes a frail cadence along the track to leave. I pass by her and we exchange weatherbeaten smiles. He’s a handful, I offer. I don’t know how you do it. She just shrugs and hobbles along.

I watch them leave the field, Billy sprinting back and forth; Gramma hanging on to the fence to keep her balance as she prepares for the long walk home.

I never make New Year’s resolutions, but it occurs to me: Next year I want to be a little more like Billy.

And a lot more like Gramma.

Happy New Year.

Today’s run

  • 4 miles — 55:32 (13:54, 126) track
  • 13:41, 13:58, 14:08, 13:44
  • Piranha-meter — 730 miles

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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2 Responses to Last run of the decade

  1. Jill says:

    Happy New Year!!! I truly hope 2011 brings you less work stress and more track miles. And a little Billy and a lotta Granny!

  2. tom o says:

    Little “B” is a lot like Billy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only difference is he can’t kick the soccer ball. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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