Monthly Archives: June 2012

Running Hiatus Comes to a Screeching Halt

I just booked a flight to Chicago.

To run 26.2 miles.

When I woke up this morning, this was not part of the plan. Up until a few days ago, this marathon was not even on my radar. But through a series of fortunate events, encouraging friends, enticing ticket prices, and available race bibs, it has manifested into a concrete event that will actually be taking place in my life on October 7, 2012. This is real life.

I know, I know…I realize I said never again. In fact, upon completing my first marathon, I believe these were my very words:

Two days later, I am still in a world of pain; every fiber of my being hurts. Walking is difficult, the act of sitting makes me grimace, and going down stairs nearly brings me to tears. Even sleeping hurts. Once I am a bit more removed from the pain I might feel differently, but as of now, I declare that I am not running another marathon. I’m told my feelings on the matter will change as I regain mobility and forget the discomfort, but as for now, I am hurting, and I am not inclined to even entertain the idea of putting myself through another round of torture.

So yeah, call me crazy, but I just committed to another dose of this. On purpose.

Which means, coming off a much-needed running sabbatical, I am back in full-force training mode in preparation for the Chicago Marathon.

After achieving a half marathon PR in Mississippi, I gave myself permission to take a guilt-free break from running, and it has been so, so good. My body loves me for it, my mind loves me for it, and my social calendar loves me for it. For roughly two months, I haven’t run more than ten miles total (with the exception of this past week, which marked my official comeback to the running world). The hiatus has not only given me a chance to focus on some other areas of fitness – weightlifting, yoga, core, biking, and various other activities – but it has also relieved my mind of the demanding and somewhat monotonous rigours of routine running. Not only that, but I firmly believe our bodies deserve seasons of rest. It is both physically and mentally draining to continuously perform at a high level, and every now and then you just need to settle down for a little rejuvenation.

Fortunately, time off has made me miss running just enough to where I am pumped to begin marathon training. Good thing indeed, because I’ve got 16 weeks of intensive training ahead of me, and the mileage adds up quickly.

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Drive-by Memories

On our way to Asheville, we passed through Knoxville, the home of my alma mater. From the highway, I caught quick, blurred glimpses of some of the city’s sights, and it triggered a flood of memories. In this particular situation, my recollections were relegated to some of the taller locales, as those were the only buildings that stood out at 75 miles per hour. I saw the hospital that hosted my mom and I for eight days after my emergency appendectomy, the on-campus college apartments I lived in for two years, the Sun Sphere where I attended many an outdoor concert, and Neyland Stadium, where I spent countless fall Saturdays watching football.

Our brief drive-by also made me wonder why I had never before made the short two-hour trip to Asheville when I lived four years in a neighboring town. Which then made me question why I didn’t do a lot of the things I could have done.

I could have spent more time in the surrounding mountains and taken advantage of the proximity to North Carolina. I could have joined the Canoe and Hiking club, which I dabbled in but never committed to, because I didn’t want to “give up” my weekends. I could have studied abroad in a multitude of countries. I could have taken my major in a totally different direction. I could have learned French more fluently. I could have started running sooner. Bottom line – I could have done a lot of things differently.

If I was the me I am now, I would have. But I wasn’t, and that’s really all there is to say about that.

Sure, I had my fair share of random excitement. I took ballet, racquetball, and weightlifting classes. Visited New Orleans, Washington DC, Virginia, Ohio, South Carolina, and Chicago collectively more times than I can count. Captained an intramural sand volleyball team. Took a road trip to meet my pen pal of ten years. And so on and so forth (I mean really, how do you adequately list four years worth of activities?!). But looking back, I can’t help but think that there’s so much more I could have done.

But isn’t that just how life goes?

It’s called growth, and it’s all part of the journey. We get to know ourselves better, we change, we develop new priorities and interests. We acquire fresh knowledge and passion, and we begin to see the world differently than we did before. It’s quite beautiful, really. We (ideally) grow upwards and forwards, becoming a constantly revised version of who we once were.

There’s no need to look back at what wasn’t, because it can’t be changed. And it’s all part of your story. The only thing to do now is move forward, be thankful for the past that shaped you into who you are, and collect new experiences that appeal to the you of today.

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May Taught Me

  1. I wish I had sheets made of Ranunculus.
  2. For those of you who didn’t work a brief stint at a florist and therefore aren’t quite sure what Ranunculus is, I’ll have you know it is quite possibly the softest flower in existence.
  3. The more carrots I eat in one sitting, the less I like them.
  4. It is highly inadvisable to get your oil changed the day you wake up with a mysteriously painful crick in your neck that prevents you from turning your head to the left, therefore making it virtually impossible to interact with the service tech at your window.
  5. The first letter of every continent’s name is the same as the last: America, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. I like this.
  6. One tablespoon is equivalent to three teaspoons.
  7. Blackberries and almond butter heated in the microwave for 20 seconds is my new favorite treat.
  8. Cory Branan’s new album, Mutt, is a musical masterpiece.
  9. Riding your bike from downtown to midtown to see a movie makes the movie that much better.
  10. I’ve written fewer blog posts this month (a measly three) than any other since I started this thing 29 months ago. Sorry about that.
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