I took a planned vacation this past weekend in Wisconsin. I moved my long run to my usual day off (Friday) and I brought one running outfit along with me. The plan was to complete my scheduled 7 mile run somehow while on vacation. They say that “man plans and God laughs.” Well, that’s not far fetched.
Friday morning, I set out in the cooler temps and somewhat gloomy sky in the morning. I set out to run 12 miles. I didn’t have a route in mind that would take me exactly 6 miles out and back. I was going to take a few paths along the trail to keep it interesting and be more spontaneous. The place where the trail branches off is referred to as “the triangle”. I headed toward the state college and train station on the trail until I reached construction that I couldn’t figure out how to get past. I turned back and took a different path than I had thought I was going to be on. At the point I turned around, I was at 5.75 miles and decided there was enough trail to make up the rest after I passed my starting point. I miscalculated. I wound up running along the trail, through a nearby subdivision, and back down to the park where I’d started from. I don’t know if it was that I was relieved to have less than 15 miles to run, but I actually picked up speed in the last mile and felt energized. I got back to my car and did my stretching in the grass right behind my parking space while relishing in the time I was spending alone listening to music I enjoyed and doing something I enjoyed. After going home and cleaning up, it was time to head to Wisconsin for vacation.
I didn’t run for the few days that I was away from home and I opted not to run my first day back from vacation. I enjoyed taking a little time off from running. I felt a little guilty for it and worried I’d lose some skill in 4 days. I was back to it by Tuesday for a speed workout in the intense heat with the half marathon group. I’ll be back at it again tonight, but it isn’t as hot outside today as Tuesday.
This weekend, the half marathon group will be running the race course as a preview. My marathon training has me on the hook for 16 miles for a long run. I’ll be running 3 more after completing the training run, then I’ll be doing a 5k race in the evening. Let’s hope I get enough rest in between. Jane is doing the same thing and has asked that I assure her we won’t die from running 19 miles in one day. I hope not, but only time will tell. There are only a couple more weeks left in half marathon training and I’ve completed half of my full marathon training. I’m still confident that I can really finish the full marathon in good condition. Who knows how I will feel as it gets closer? I’m hoping my positive outlook will be of assistance to my mind and to my legs in the struggle to move forward for 26.2 miles.
I feel like each run is a chapter in a great story that I’m watching come together and I am grateful to be a part of it. I don’t know that I would have imagined myself running endurance races and really enjoying it. Now that I’m doing it, I will always tout that I cannot imagine not doing it. It didn’t take away my major depressive disorder. I didn’t suddenly become thin and start loving life. It wasn’t magic and I didn’t start it overnight. It has been a long process and a lot of hard work and I am still working at it. I enjoy running and doing it helps me better deal with the things that are inevitable in life. If you find something good for you that you enjoy, why not embrace it and even immerse yourself in it? I run. I’m a runner.
Bonus pic of a bird on my head on vacation and my husband laughing about it: