about bliss

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

running solo

This week I return to work, as fall semester thrums to life with eager eyed first year students and anxious profs setting out grand ambitions in 8 page long syllabi...how I love this comfortable world of learning!

I celebrated the first day of class by dinning at the local foodie mecca with my friend K. I enjoyed a delightful, whimsical skillet of handcut “chips,” dusted with herbs and sea salt, a la my favorite and highly addictive terra red bliss chips. I followed that with a salad of bibb lettuce, spicy candied pecans, and winsantigo parm (a great deal if you can find it--a wisconsin parm style cheese that truly sings), dressed with basil vinaigrette. Perhaps a tad too much dressing, as the lettuce became a bit oily, but the flavors were lovely. A glass of rosé, a french press decaf coffee, and half of a lemon curd tart (w/graham crust, vanilla whipped cream, and strawberry coulis) rounded out the meal. A decadent start to the year!

My running had reached a point of duty and I was not feeling confident in my upcoming challenges. I would frequently ask myself WHY I decided to run a half marathon and couldn’t conjure up anything that sounded like an answer. Then yesterday I was scheduled to run 10 miles with my friend J, who’s also been struggling with motivation and some physical problems. I geared up throughout the day, treating myself to the refined sugary bliss of Great Harvest Bread Company’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread and much positive inner talk. The weather was spot on for a long run, neither cool nor warm, and overcast. We stopped at 1.2 miles to stretch, and again at 2.2 where my friend decided she couldn’t do this anymore...no more training, no half marathon. She turned around and I was faced with the reality that my last month of training would be how I began--primarily alone. And my inner confidence and trust in myself rose to the forefront and I set out down the rest of the route alone, with my iPod providing random tunes to guide my feet down the sidewalk.

I had one of my better runs ever, despite feeling muscle soreness at 6.5 miles (due to a strenuous dune/stair run on Sunday) and sore, tired feet at 8 miles. I called forth memories of long hikes, and a vision of being with friends M and J, pushing through extra miles to meet our reward of hot gooey pizza, comfy beds, and warm showers at the end of the trail. I focused on the promise of homemade chocolate chip cookies, a long shower, and slipping into my favorite, soft, pink Patagonia pullover.

Subtracting the 15 minutes for various stops (twice to buy water/use bathroom, once to say farewell to J), my actualy run time was 1.37! Even a great time! So now I feel confident and excited about October 1. And I’m looking forward to seeing B and M, to running with B and L, to be in Chi-Town with good friends, to finally complete this goal I’ve been training for...

B, I hope your long runs are going well. I’ve taped my training schedule to my kitchen cupboard so I’m reminded of my running commitments. Next week will be my biggest week, as I attempt a 12 mile run on Sunday the 10th, incidentally the day before I take a cake making class, and the morning before I share those 3 yummy cakes with friends at a cake tasting party!

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