I though to myself, 'Self. This is your ninth Father's Day. You should do nine."
Not having the mileage base to do nine miles, I settled on 9K. I have a mark that's about 2¾ miles out, which would be close enough. It was breezy and cloudy but dry ... for the time being.
I looked up when I got to the field at Mariel's school, for a weather check and saw glimpses of blue sky above the rush of grey and white clouds passing overhead. A darting shape caught to my right my eye, which I recognized as a bluebird ... no a pair of bluebirds, happily playing on a Sunday morning.
I crossed over the railroad tracks just as the bells and lights started flashing. Somehow, I spotted a quarter in a puddle at the bottom of a pothole.
'I've always wanted to do this!'
Quickly, I grabbed it and set it on the rail [don't worry, I knew I had plenty of time, before it arrived], and continued along. I'd look for it on the way back.
I made the two mile marker in a shade over seventeen minutes. It started sprinkling. No surprise ... it's been raining for about a week and a half now.
'What do you expect for June-tober?'
I trotted past the ducks, goats, sheep, chickens and geese to the turnaround. There were no stray peacocks to chase me around today; no JYDs lurking in the woods.
I recognized many expired Yard Sale signs on the way back.
'Kelly should come down here'
The wild geese and swans in the pond said hello as I went by again, although one swan did moon me ... Yeah, I'm sure she'd say "I just was diving for my breakfast," butt I know better, Missy!
I returned to the train tracks and looked for the quarter. No sign of it.
'It could have been blown up by the train's wake and be anywhere' one side of my brain said; the analytical Eeyore side.
'Or ... it could be right where you left it?' the other side commented; the dim-witted Pooh.
I went with Pooh. I've had enough of Eeyores, lately.
There it was ... a beautiful silver oval, pressure welded to the rail. No way was I bringing that home.
I turned and ran down the road that parallels the NJ Transit tracks. Over the past week, the NJDOT had cleaned up a bit. They have a machine they use to "tidy" up the right-of-way ... it's a big spinning blade, like on a riding-mower, but it's on a swing-arm; so it can cut down the turf, horizontally, or the over-growth on the chain-link fence, vertically.
The bastards cut all the honeysuckle down.
The sprinkle turned to drizzle, the stopped as I finished the last mile. I stopped my watch, then thought ... 'Y'know, you could go another minute or so and have 47 ... one minute for each year he was your Dad'
I started my jog around the block. I heard a voice.
"I'll NEVER stop being your DAD. I Always will be, and I'll always be proud of you"
'Huh? Proud of me? For what? You never saw me do anything?'
At his funeral, a woman Dad worked with said to me, "I never knew your Dad played golf"
"That's okay," I replied rather off-handedly, "He never knew I surfed"
'I don't think he saw me run, either' I recalled this morning, as I took off my shoes and began my cool down walk around the block.
Then, it occurred to me ... When I set my 5K v1.0 PR [in Haddonfield, all those years ago] he called out my first mile split.
"Five-twenty-five!" ... The fastest mile I've ever run.
Thanks, Dad. I mean it. Miss you.
Colluding with my Characters
1 day ago