Well, I've done my last Long Run.
The longest was twenty-one miles. It was only meant to be twenty, but I missed my turn. I wanted to run to Wrigley Field and back, but that was a little too far. So I gave myself a head start, took the train a couple of miles and then started running. I made my way to Chicago's lakefront park, which runs almost all the way through the city. You can run a long way in the park, with no traffic lights or even stop signs, and a lot of beautiful views. I was so caught up in the beautiful views (well, and in wondering how far the next drinking fountain was) that I didn't notice I'd already passed Irving Park Road.
That lakefront park is bordered by Lakeshore Drive, a busy highway which is difficult to cross for a person on foot. Since it is the easternmost street in Chicago, there's really no need for other streets to cross it. They all dead end there. But every few miles theres an on-ramp / off ramp arrangement, at which points pedestrians can pass underneath The Drive and onto city streets. It was one of these points that I missed, and I was debating whether to turn back when I noticed a small tunnel leading under the street, maybe a half mile past my original turn off. So that's what I took.
I actually know Chicago's streets well enough these days that I recognize the name of the one I ended up on, and took it west until I recognized a major north-south street, which I too back to Wrigley. At that point, slightly less than halfway through my run, I stopped to watch the game through the opening in the outfield wall, for a couple of minutes. It's strange seeing it from field-level. I'd intended to stay for an out or two (and eat the jelly-beans I'd brought to bring my blood sugar back up) but the Cubs scored two runs and got no outs, so I cheered a little with everyone else, and moved on. I was listening to the game on my radio anyway.
I was sore and tired and moving slowly by the time I got back, but I wasn't dying, the way I sometimes have. A good sign.
The last couple of weeks, following the plan, I tapered off my distances. Fifteen miles, then twelve, then, yesterday, only eight. Next weekend -- twenty six point two!
The marathon route goes by Wrigley Field too, but it won't be nearly as much fun this time. The Cubs are out of it. I was going to say I can't believe it, not after they won 97 games, not after they had the best record in the National League, not after they clinched their division a week before the end of the season... But I can. It's the Cubs.
I don't want to talk about it.