Day 121–La Jolla (12/07/08)

This is a day that I don’t know quite what to write.  It is the last long day.  I did 25 miles, all on the coastal highway, or a road between it and the ocean.  Much of the time I could see the water.  For a cool day, there were quite a few surfers and beachgoers.  I had feelings that I cannot get a handle on to describe.  Part of me wishes I had come to the coastal highway much further north so that I could run three more days this week.  As it is, Eric has estimated after today I have less than 6 miles to the finish at the big roller coaster in Belmont Park at Mission Beach.  I only recently picked out that spot.  I have been planning Mission Beach a long time, but Mission Beach is a long span of sand.  It was necessary to pick out a spot to avoid getting there and not knowing exactly when the run was done.  It seems like things just suddenly hurried up.  Here I am right next to the finish.  I am glad though that I did have today to run by the ocean alone and begin to contemplate what this run means to me.  

It was a beautiful day.  Sometimes it was sunny but most of the time there were clouds.  I ran in short sleeves and shorts as usual and the John Deere visor that I bought many months ago in Wadesboro, N.C.  This is the second day in my last pair of new shoes.  They feel good.  There are lots of people on the sidewalk and along the bike lane.  Some are getting their exercise and others are just out for a stroll.  Some of the time I choose the stroll pace.  Occcasionally, I have the urge to say, “Hey.  Where are you going?  Guess where I came from.”  I finally did break down and tell the cashier where I bought a cup of coffee.  She said all the right things.  “Amazing.”  “Where did you start from?”  “When did you start?” I feel somewhat bad that I felt the need to tell anyone.  But that feeling has been a part of the day and it would not go away.  Thankfully, telling the one person was sufficient let it subside.  I tried to keep the focus on the technical part of the run.  I needed to finish today close enough to Mission Beach that Merrie and I would be able to walk back to the car after we are done.  Then I was back on the cell phone again talking with friends.  All day though there were rumblings going on in my head.  I don’t think I dealt with many of them.  They will surface again when the time is right.  All the while my feet were moving and the end of the next-to-the-last-day was coming.  It came at a city park in La Jolla.  Eric met me on the bike and led me in.  I don’t know how to classify this day other than to say it was an end unto itself.  Not the end, but the end of the last long day.

Today is dedicated to Dana and Erin.  I am so proud of both of them.  Sometimes because and sometimes in spite of the example I set for them they have matured into good, well-rounded adults.  They are both in their thirties now, so perhaps you think and perhaps they think too, that I should let up and stop thinking of them growing up.  But if I have reached their level of maturity, it has only been in the last dozen years.  Also, I am their dad, so I do not have to ever stop being proud of them.  There has not been a day on this trip when I did not think of them and ask God to bless them.  I love them so much.

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