One ritual I savor is a quick run right after I get home from a busy day at work. I peel off my work clothes and replace them with running tights and a t-shirt. I lace up my running shoes, holler “see you later!” to my spouse and daughter, and leave the back door open for myself. I turn down the street and begin the pattern of striking feet. Each worry from the day gets an opportunity to rise to consciousness, and then, with the power of physical exertion, I let it go. Eventually, the run meets the mental silence. And then the most wonderful part develops–the time for dreaming. I think about the exciting opportunities I can make for myself and anticipate the goodness of the challenges to come. I imagine crossing the figurative finish lines. I retreat to the back alley, do my planks, stretch my muscles in the back yard, and then enter the house. Now I am ready for the next shift–cooking dinner, bath time, bedtime, reading articles, preparing for the next day…
On Saturday I ran 5 miles of trail with the running buddy who is training with me for the Bellingham Bay half. It was really sweaty and rejuvenating. Yesterday, I had the day off from work, so I went for a run through the neighborhood and found a new route that amounts to exactly 5K. It is very lovely and mostly shaded, which will be nice for warmer summer days. The weekend was very exciting and productive. My baby turned three–what a remarkable milestone! It seems like yesterday that I was up all hours of the night and morning nursing a tiny piglet to sleep. Now she is big and strong and can often outrun me! I also read through several hundred pages of research for my literature review and I organized and cleaned our study. It took us two years in this house, but our study is now finally a peaceful retreat for reading, writing, grading, and any other work that needs to be done. It is nice to have one room dedicated to these tasks with minimal distractions. I forgot how lovely the light is, particularly in the summer, when the southwest sunshine hits the room in the afternoon.
I hope to log a few shorter runs this week. This Sunday, I am participating in a trail running race.
It’s been a long time since I last updated this blog. For many months I was content to let it be, but lately I’ve wanted to write about my running journey. In the months since the marathon, I’ve run exactly one half marathon and one 5K. A dramatic decrease in race participation for 2014! I am still a runner, however. Despite a winter full of sickness and colds, I continued to log miles for sanity each week. I’ve been running purely for the joy of running. It is quite the shift from the focused marathon training that I was about to begin this time last year.
Where am I now? Well, I am about to start intentionally training for the Bellingham Bay half marathon. Long story short, I am beginning my doctoral studies in just a few days while working four days a week, so I decided that a half marathon would be more realistic than a full marathon. Also? I haven’t had the calling to run another marathon yet. I don’t think I will run another one for at least another year. We’ll see. I will let my heart decide when the time is right.
For now, I am just enjoying the groove of pounding pavement. Tomorrow I will enjoy a trail run with a running buddy (and co-pilot for half marathon training). I hope to reflect from time to time as I train for this race.