Sunday, July 24, 2011

Life. Happening -

Friday morning began wonderfully. Up early and out for a 26K run that went well. Still too slow a pace to make the marathon cut-off, but I ran the whole way and felt strong. I was careful to space out the gels (yuck, by the way).

The first part of the run had me fretting about precise times and distances: Do I give in and buy a Garmin? Why am I doing this anyway?

What about the shoes? Am I going to ruin my body entirely by going minimalist for my first marathon?

It was mainly about trying to make peace with the idea of coming in dead last. Being honest with myself about that. Can I really, honestly, deal with it?

I am a competitive person. I have always been one of the people to say that getting the best grade in the class isn't important, but knowing full well that I had a shot at that slot. I have always considered myself a "contender" in the endeavors I have taken up (or I have been blissfully ignorant that I wasn't). Am I being honest with myself or am I subconsciously harboring a fantasy that I have a superpower yet-to-be-revealed that will kick in on race day?

Then, almost on cue, I saw a deer in the clearing. The first since April. She didn't move. She watched me run by and then continued eating.

Why did I begin running again last year? A large part of it was the deer. Up early, seeing the flash of white tail in the fog in the mornings was a reward.

The doe was there to remind me. This is about health and peace of mind.

In March, when I made a real commitment to myself, the world was dark at 5 a.m., but every day a little lighter. I watched the reeds grow. I heard the birds returning.

In April, when the last of the snow had melted from the little hollow to reveal autumn's leaves - still bright orange - spring mimicked the fall, and I realized the fluidity of nature: the old doesn't immediately give way to the new. It is a matter of focus sometimes.

After 20 years of complaining about the cold and the rain, Friday I was celebrating the 15C morning and the light rain - with my jacket tied around my waist.

This year I decided to change my citizenship. The cells in my body have renew themselves, nearly three times over now, breathing this air. I continue to change fundamentally.

After the run Friday, I showered and biked downtown to meet three other American expatriates. We had a very long and pleasant lunch, after which I went directly to a store to purchase some Vivo barefoot shoes for work (one of the Americans showed me hers and told me where to find them). Then I picked up my second pair of Vibrams. (I have worn out a pair of running shoes!)

Then my oldest son called me. He was watching the news.

The day broke sharply in two.

Today I am reminding myself that, that doesn't mean one half of the day negates the other. Life and death... and life.

What keeps you running?
Fitness Friday Blog Hop

new button


  1. I'm very competitive. More so against myself than others. Every now and then I need a reality check and reminder of why I love to run and that thought is so much more pleasant than not being fast enough or not running far enough. Earlier in the year while recovering from surgery #2, with a healthy dose of self pity because I couldn't run, a friend recommended The Courage to Start by John Bingham. It was the reminder I needed!

    Oh, and what keeps me running is the feeling I get 99% of the time. A feeling of being empowered. Feeling like I can do anything.

    That answer is more than you asked for isn't it :)

  2. But not more than I need :)

    Will look up the Bingham book...

  3. What keeps me running? The fear that I will get to the end of the day and not have accomplished much. The knowledge that I can do it. And being able to continue to fit in my clothes.

    I love your thoughts on seeing the seasons change. That's one of my favorite parts of running in the early am!

  4. Amy, Yes- I love that by 6 am I have done more than I used to do in a whole day a year ago. That makes me feel like I can do anything with a *whole* day! So true.

  5. I love running in the mornings, a beautiful thing, just like you described. Love my vibrams too :)
    Since I'm just recovering from surgery it's been killing me not to run. I feel like I have to start completely over once I gain my energy back. I love the feeling I have after a run, it's my stress relief, my time. I feel strong, I feel healthy. That's what keeps me going. :)
    Thanks for linking up!

  6. What a great post. Things like that really put everything in perspective. I really like my Vivo barefoot shoes. I have the Evo 2's. And I just did 2 marathons in my Vibrams. I think if you've been training in them you'll be just fine. You have great pictures too!