Happy St. Valentine's Day!
I have a little race coming up in a mere 8 weeks, a trail marathon to be exact. I'm not in any sort of shape to run it (nor will I be after another heel set-back this week *sigh*), and the interesting fact is that I knew this when I signed up. For once in my life, I didn't sign up for a race because I'd be ready to run hard and run fast and to hope for an amazing finish line time.
I signed up because of this whole heel nightmare - the stress, the tension, the pain - all of it - I just wanted to step outside of my little crazed road running world and seek a new adventure. Something fun. Something different. Something new. I had my eye on the Skyline to Sea race since about October, when my running was really tanking and all sort of speed I had worked my tail off to achieve was quickly slipping out of my hands. I needed something to look forward to, outside of my norm, so I picked this trail race as a new adventure.
The fact I have 8-hours to run it certainly helped the decision, too.
And the fact some blogger friends decided to venture with me was definitely a huge boost.
I am one lucky girl. I get to run a trail marathon with some of the most amazing friends out there in some of the most gorgeous, scenic country.
Adventure describes exactly what it is that I need to dream about, or work towards. It is the thing that I want to have inscribed on my calendar, a page I can flip to on an ordinary day and dream about. Something I can look forward to. Not defined so much as a race, but an experience ahead that reminds me that I have it in me. That the possibility exists within me that I can and will bust out of my comfort zone and push myself to see, do and be something new.
After months of one frustrating run after another, I am forced to look at my running these days with a different lens. Yes, I am frustrated. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am angry. And yes I am pretty emotional at times.
But I have something to look forward to in 7 weeks: a new adventure with some of my favorite blog friends. I am so excited, I don't even mind that I may be walking most of it. With a cast on my foot, perhaps. Crutches? Whatever - I have an adventure waiting for me and I can't wait.
We live our lives, love our people, and do our work. We can get into a fairly absolute pattern with these items, forgetting that we were designed to need adventure too. We need the new experiences that stretch us and call us higher. When we ignore this need, it's easy for our passions to get clogged and erupt, or morph in ways that are harmful. We were not designed to thrive under restlessness or complacency.
This is going to be a great little experiment and I am trying my hardest to not let the heel bring me down. Sometimes when the heel drags me down, as it did today, and I need a little lift, I'll visit that happy place.....we all have them.....
As I was sitting here thinking about a happy memory to go visit for a few minutes, I remembered Valentine's Day and something my mom did for me when I was a little girl growing up in Iowa. I can't say my childhood was all sunshine and happy days, quite the opposite actually, but I remember my mom, who has been gone for the past 23 years of my life, used to love to bake. And she was really good at it, unlike her only daughter who has issues with the oven, the stove and any utensil which belongs in the kitchen. Let's recall the carrot cake I tried to make for the daughter's boyfriend last summer, which set my oven ablaze:(http://runwithjill.blogspot.com/2010/06/times-2.html). But I'll never forget the red velvet cupcakes my mom used to make me on Valentine's Day...it was always a special treat, something I look forward to tasting when I returned home from school; something she'd make and mail to me while I was in college. A reminder that love surrounded me, even when times were maybe not so bright.
These little cupcakes also brought me to mile 23 of the Boston Marathon last year when Katie A and I were in tears over our miserable bodies failing us and how I made Katie promise me we'd go to Mike's Pastry for my birthday. She was a good sport, despite telling me if I mentioned one more time it was my birthday she was going to scream, and the next day her and her husband took me over to the famous bakery and I got myself a red velvet cupcake (well, only to lose it somewhere between bakery and the airport. How sad is that? Still...I got to go and that was half the fun). Ah, they love me! That wonderful day always brings me a smile.
Happy Valentine's Day, people…whether your heart is full or healing, may we all experience a fresh and abiding awareness of the love in our lives. As for me, I'll be making heart-shaped pizzas with my kids and drinking red Gookinaid. And I'm going to make myself a nice little red velvet cupcake. Just like my mom made. Only not as good. What an adventure it'll be. I can't wait!
(my mileage comes straight out of my running log, you get all my lovely comments, too, as I just cut and paste :))
Week 5:Miles run: 46.6
Total 2011 run miles: 178.68
Swim: 1350 yds
Weights: 1 time (ugh)
Tuesday: 17.1 miles on TM, pace uber slow, last 4 miles progressively faster
Wednesday: full body weights; 1350yds swimThursday: 8.5 miles total on TM, 7x800 @ 7:19 pace (slow...but that's how I roll these days)
Friday: Off (podiatrist appt, super sick to my stomach, grateful I didn't puke on him)
Saturday: 11 miles on trails in snow. In shorts.
Sunday: 10 miles total in two runs. First run 6.5 miles total with 4 @ MP, 3.5 miles later watching Blacked-Eyed Pea's lame Superbowl halftime show.
Miles Run: 33
Total 2011 run miles: 211.68
Swim: 1800 yds
Monday: 1 mi wu full body wts1 mi cd
Tuesday: 4 miles on TM, 4x1 miles @ MP
Wednesday: 8 miles, middle for SICs.
Thursday: 7 miles on TM.Lots of heel pain. :( upper body weights
Friday: Off. Podiastrist. Cortisone shot. Again.
Saturday: Swim 1 mile
Sunday: 12 miles, heel not happy. At all.