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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lessons I learned on day 261

Dawn? no ... twilight? perhaps... Dark and quiet. Ponderous and still.  Laying in the dark staring at the ceiling awaiting my alarm.  Stupid o'clock calls again. I feel it in my bones, like an unrelenting itching that needs to be scratched.  Patience, breathing, waiting, ... not my talent.  This day, my day ... can't wait to devour it.  No apologies there.  This run, my run.... my second chance at this distance. Last week 29km 3:22:19.  I have nothing to prove, and yet.... every day I have surprised myself.  Every day I have proved myself wrong. So why not?

Not to be out done by time, my captor so complete, I turn off the pending alarm before it can ring.  There is tea to drink, steaming in the dark, offering its warmth against the fear of night.  There is oatmeal to eat, caressing all the emptiness inside craving attention.  There is.... Oh hell I just had to pee ok?  So up... I'm up.. And getting ready... 5degrees celsius... my coldest run.  Long sleeves.  Winter running gear is not sexy.  Oh well, I'm only impressing the lamp posts and mailboxes at this hour anyway. 

A text, my guide is sick.  That is problematic.  On two levels, as she is a dear dear friend and I want to pause the world and go take care of her, and ... uh... 29km is a tad scary.  Tea to drink, fear isn't welcome here.  I'm stubborn but not stupid and take the suggestion to wait an hour.  So as not to fight off bears on the trail in the dark. After all, with no guide to feed them I'm screwed... All current 112lbs of me... This training takes more time to eat for than run for I swear.  Just cover me in apple sauce and call me bear bait....

I try to sleep again.  Dam patience.  Not sleeping.  Not moving.  I decide to run the run in my head.  Round that corner, through those poles I know mark the trail, but I can't see, stop wait listen to cross that road... No fear allowed.  Dam patience. 

Alarm goes off.  I must have drifted off.  Just past stupid o'clock now.  And I'm gone.  Hoping for 10km as my knee is not happy all the sudden.  Packed for 29km though.  Stubborn.  Too used to making things happen for myself.  Too used to pushing the limit. 

Garmin free today as I will be getting used to that.  Unless it starts raining garmins.  But I know my route, know my markers, know my pot holes too.

Out into the world, sexy headlamp on and going.  New shoes too, which I'm told are pink.  This new me... Colourful. Who knew?

I think if 10km why not 13km?  That works with my original route.  Then I can decide.  I get to the point of making decisions.  I can't say no.  I'm not dead, I'm not dying.  I'm running.  This me... always running.  Onwards and forwards. 

It occurs to me I wanted this.  It occurs to me I'm going to have to say no to myself some day.  That day will be the worst day of my life I think. Stubborn.  Aggressive.  It's not today.  Keep going.

Headlamp off. Transition.  Right here in these few moments before sun.... this is when I can see.  Truly see.  God's gift to me in these 20mins.  I'm so thankful to be out in them.  I see the rabbit cross the path, not just movement up ahead.  I see the dew on the trees, the mist on the stream, not just feel them in the air.  I think... oh crap... I think... I'd see the bear too.... Run girl run..

Ok first road... it's crazy early not much of a wait.  By the end of this run I will have spent 9:14min waiting to cross roads.  What a waste of time. Get out of your cars, embrace the breath in the air.  You know not what you are missing.  It's vibrant out here.  It's karmic out here... Oh hell, at least let me cross.....?

The leaves on the ground remind me that time waits for no one.  Again stuck in that.  I love the idea of being here in this moment... Somewhere someday there is a high backed low chair waiting for me on the end of a dock.  Somewhere someday there is stillness and contentment.  Somewhere someday there is just me... and perhaps the mosquitoes.  My uninvited guests.

There is still no one to share this trail, 16km in and not a soul.  This sunrise masks itself in my selfish embrace.  This bridge, forever laying in wait, seems present just for me... Specifically just to let go.  There is no one here to watch me cry or hear my tedious sobs.  This space, seems just.... in the right place.

Turning around is the hardest part of my long runs. Parts of me I don't understand scream no! KEEP GOING! Crevasses I haven't visited in my soul beg for continuance.  Yet I can't seem to cross this bridge. It's the place I'm stuck, forged against the sky as much as in my better judgement.  Last deep breath and a long sigh.  Even if there is nothing else.... There is always me.  That seems to bring comfort. Back home I head.

Pink shoes, serving me well.  Jumped all the horse dung along the trail on the journey out. The memory of a blind girl, so distracted by life in its current state isn't as good as it should be... was that big pile at 18km or 22km?  Left or right?  Thankfully running into the wind.  And my shoes are still just pink.  There was some fancy foot work though.  Why is there always crap along the path of a magical quest?

I reach this place, this place where I feel a push from behind.  I can't pick up speed at 26km in a 29km run?  Who does that? I'm not a fast runner, I'm not a strong runner.  I'm a currently unguided solo blind runner on a trail that in the last 3km has become quite busy.  Undeniable push.  Unrequested shove.  Unrelenting urge ...just to see (not see but find out)... could I go faster?

At 27km I pass a guy running with his dog.  The dog has a stick in his mouth.  Easily 5 - 6 feet long.  The guy doesn't care.  The dog.... happy to bring a piece of happiness along for the ride.  Tells me no journey is worth taking alone.  Bring happiness with you everywhere, with disdain for judgement on that.  Smiles weigh nothing.  Pack them.

At 28km I pass over a line drawn in the dirt.  I look again... I says FINISH just below it.  This makes me laugh out loud.  I've run someone else's trail.  I've run someone else's mile.  You may be done gentle soul... But there is still another km to go for me. With every fiber of my being.... I AM NOT FINISHED YET.....

Lived to run another day.  Lived to live another day.  Lived to smile another day... in this my skin. 

Today's run 29km solo trail run 3:14:46 ... Surprised myself again.

Day 261 of 365 days of running current total 1405.38km...

1 comment:

J said...

This was such a pleasure to read. I don't know how you have time to both run 20+ Kms, then write about it, and raise 3 kids, but wow-there you are doing it. Love the bear thing... and the dog reminding us to bring along happiness!