By the time this poem posts,
It’s 12:02 everyday,
I will be fast asleep,
After twenty-four hours of modest endurance efforts.

To get out and test ourselves,
There is nothing better,
The test, it doesn’t matter much,
Just that it is hard, maybe even unthinkable.

I know today would not have happened for me,
Twenty-six (.2) miles spread out over 24-hours,
Without some serious support,
The kind that frames these ridiculous attempts.

Family, dealing with the stink, the unavailability,
Friends, offering encouragement, healthy skepticism,
My dog, who just looks and waits with his wagging tail,
But in this one, my daughter,

Who on her birthday accepted the challenge,
Talked just enough trash
Liked enough Strava posts, and kept at it throughout
To inspire me to keep going as well.

She and I need to set up a Zoom call with Beau,
His video putting the idea of this adventure in our heads,
I’d like to thank him for the pain in my calves and the chance
To do this craziness with a kindred spirit.

In just a few hours,
About the time this poem gets posted,
The twenty-four hour marathon will start,
2.1, 2.1, and 1-mile of running per hour.

The mileage doesn’t seem tough,
The sleeping does, the eating does,
The time is the thing,
But that why we do stuff like this, to see…

To see if we can,
To see what is possible,
How stupid we can be
And still have fun.

Let’s go.

Less than two hours,
That’s how long it took,
Took to break in new trail shoes,
Fresh out of the box,
Straight into the melting snow mud.

It was great running with my daughter,
The company light,
The air crisp,
The land free,
Simply a beautiful day.

Taken by the trails,
Wet leaves covering mounds of horse poop,
Rocks settled in the peet,
Smelly, but sound footing, nonetheless.
Weak winds blew a teasing wind,
Just enough for the climate deniers,
Certainly, they can’t believe a real winter is coming.

Each step was beautiful,
The agony of the hills,
The picturesque run up to the creek,
The Rockwell shuffle through covered bridges.
Alas, there was a heavy sweat on my brow,
A sure sign that it was too hot for this late date,
Take that climaticians.

Eight months ago to the day and date,
I ran with my mates for what seemed the last time.
COVID took everything out.

There have been spotty runs together,
Hit or miss gatherings and lots of social distancing,
But mostly I’ve been running on my own.

Today, I decided to go solo, again.
These numbers, the trends, they’re too much for me.
I’m hating it.

All the uncertainty with the virus,
The impact on people’s lives,
It’s getting to be more than I want to handle.

This wave I’m better prepared,
More stuff to do in case of a lockdown,
But I’m hoping it doesn’t go that way.

See you guys when it’s better.

We ran in the woods,
I took the lead to set the pace,
I didn’t want to spend the day chasing,
More like getting lapped,
She’s must faster than I am.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost twenty-two years,
From a snot nosed kid, to a pain in the butt adult,
I love her, one of my best hanging partners,
Now a full fledged woman,
Long gone are her days in diapers.

On the last lap, she took charge,
I just let her go, walking whenever I needed to slow,
She’d look back and humor her old man
Knowing it was in her best interest to stay close
Since I was paying for breakfast.

Ah, Friday, autumn is in full swing,
Fall sports are nearly done,
Leaves are everywhere, and all I can do is sit
Staring at the television with arms weary,
The weight of the week plus the lifting off weights
Making them heavy and satisfied
Grateful for gravity, charity, and discipline.

It’ll be bed time soon,
Fog might rise tonight and in the morning
I’ll run on a narrow trail with my kid
Who’ll probably tell me I’m too slow, but
That’s cool because it’s true,
Old too, but she knows better than to poke the bear too hard
Because I might just shuffle along faster than she wants.

Or I might make her pay for breakfast…