Apr 24, 2010

The pack mule and a marathon runner

 My sister runs marathons. My brother went to college to be a physical therapist. He's a MegaMan. They were both star athletes in high school. They are both coordinated, strong and agile.

I was the water girl in high school. I took stats. I ran the time clock, cleaned locker rooms and laundered, organized and stored jerseys in numerical order with matching hangers. Are you shocked by any of this?

This weekend, Sister had her 20-mile training run. I got to go along. She sold it to me like this:

"Laura, on the Saturday that you'll be in Lincoln I have to go on a 20-mile run. Are you going to come along?"
"You can ride a bike while I run."
"Oh. OK. I should be able to handle biking the same amount of time as you run."
"Great. You can be my pack mule."
"Pack mule?! This sounds less fun."
"You'll just carry my snacks and drinks in a bag that attaches to the bike. You can bring your camera."
*snacks? juice? camera?*

Today, we set off on our 20 mile journey. Sister led the way. 
After about three miles of herding her along, I started to get bored. Luckily, the Jamaican Trail had a lot of fun stuff to entertain my camera and I (and relieve me of 20 strait miles of biking). I stopped to play near a little creek:
Somebody forgot their rusty barbed wire next to the creek:
I wandered my way back to the trail to find Sister, still running:
This is where we think the Boxcar Children lived. If you don't know who the Boxcar Children are, you should ask your parents why they didn't make you read more as a youngster.  
 A nice little assortment of broken down railroad cars, semi trailers and various other piles of junk. What a soothing addition to the running trail.
 Don't worry, Sister was still running. I really had to work to catch up to her this time.
Then there was a pretty little bridge.
Sister ran over it.
 I went under it and found a tire. A lot of random crap littered this running trail. 
There was pretty stuff, too.
Guess what Sister was doing?
Yup. Still running. Notice how much further ahead of me she is getting. I didn't notice that at the time, so I stopped to enjoy some more scenery.
Then there was DANGER. This sign suddenly made me realize I had piddled around so long that I didn't know where Sister was. I was under a creepy bridge that explicitly stated it was DANGER, in the middle of nowhere, near a railroad track with abandoned trailers.
Ah! Peddle faster, Laura! Faster! 
After a couple miles topping Earth-shattering speed of 13 mph she was back in sight, although smothered by a cloud of train smoke.  
...still running. I did not want to bike through the smoke, and the amount of energy I exerted trying to catch up with her made me hungry. Boy, was I glad to be the pack mule with all the snacks.

Fruit Smiles might be one of my all-time favorite snacks. I stopped to fully enjoy their sweet, smiley goodness.
But don't worry, Sister was still... oh crap. She's not running anymore.  
 Turns out her pack mule was dawdling and forgot to replenish her thirst. Turns out, her pack mule hadn't really checked in for about seven miles. At mile 15, that's apparently not very nice.

Don't worry, we go her back on the road, hydrated, re-fueled and running like the wind.
 I found a bee.
Round about mile 18,5, I finally caught up with her by the tulips.
She was looking for her pack mule again. Ooops.


  1. Laura, I truly enjoyed reading about your excursion with Sister! Thanks, I needed a laugh today! :-)

  2. I like your rambling tales. Remember when we tried running in the mornings?

  3. Glad I could put a little smile on your face, Jess! :)
    Bree -- I like how you say we "tried" running. That's a great description. But at least we tried!

  4. Glad you enjoyed your ride...I suspect more than your sister enjoyed her dry, hungry run?!