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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Run for Boston

Monday evening, the local Ft Lauderdale running community gathered for a run to demonstrate support for Boston and to raise money for the victims and their families.

It was a rainy night, and I questioned whether or not they would hold the event; and if so, if I wanted to run.  That sounds wussy, I know, "I don't wanna get wet even though the run supports a noble cause, wah, wah, wah," which is exactly why I still went despite the downpour.  I know that runners at Boston did all kinds of courageous and noble acts for those who were injured and killed; the least I could do was show up and run in the rain.

Once gathered, a few "leaders" said some words, we shared in a moment of silence, we sang the National Anthem (particularly tugged at the ole heart strings this time), we posed for a giant group pic, and then we ran.  Around a track.

Since it was literally pouring, some runners just ran a "symbolic" lap or two, maybe a mile, but others, like myself, ran 3+ miles.  For selfish reasons more than anything, I wanted to get at least 3 miles done, and after I was soaked within the first lap, I figured, "Eh, may as well do what I can out here."

The event sold out of the t-shirts they'd ordered, and they managed to have a really significant turn out, especially considering the weather, so they were able to raise a nice little sum for The One Fund.  I got there too late for a tee but still donated some moola, so I got to benefit from the warm fuzzies even without the tee.

All around, it was a feel-good run-sperience. 

Plus, Monday was my birthday -- yes, the Earth graciously shared the day with ME.  So, in honor of the day, my 35th birthday, I made sure my mileage was an even 3.5.

Maybe one of these years, I'll actually run the number of miles for the number of years old I am, but every year that I put that off, the harder I make the goal.  Hmmmm, this is one of those "better sooner than later" goals, isn't it?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moving Along

With such a major event on Monday, it's felt a little odd resuming the normal routine, but that's the business of living: We have to get to it.


The running here this week has been a lesson in adaptation.  Mother Nature decided, "Meh?  Why not just go ahead and make it summer!"  I know that many people in the rest of North America are shaking angry fists at the heavens cursing Mother Nature's refusal to move forward out of winter, but here, she decided to just skip ahead to July. 

It's April, dammit.  We're supposed to get a wee bit more of the temperate weather, aren't we?  Nope, guess not.

Thus, there's really only one word to describe the running this week: Sweaty.

You'd think I'd be used to such bodily effusion, but honestly, after months of lovely weather, it's a bit of an adjustment to suddenly be out there thinking, "Sweet Jesus, I'm melting!"

Oh well, best get used to it: It's not gonna get any cooler here in the next six months!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Boston

Last night, after dinner, after the kids had been bathed, the dog fed, the kitchen cleaned, and everyone settled in for the evening, I changed into my running clothes as I do every evening at this time.  And, I sat on the kids' step stool in the bathroom to lace up my shoes, and for some reason, that act of lacing up my shoes brought me to tears.

So, I sat on the step stool and cried.  Just for a moment.  Long enough to use up the tears that swept over me, but not so long as to dwell with them.

Then, I finished lacing up my shoes and I went out and ran.

It was nothing special: A 3 mile route that I run nearly everyday.  I didn't run fast.  I didn't have any earth-shattering epiphany.  I didn't completely resolve any feelings of grief, fear, despair, frustration, or sadness.  I didn't have any newfound faith in humanity or any restoration of the power of good or heroism.

When I got back, the world was still the same place it had been when I'd set out.  It was no different and neither was I.  But.

I felt better.

And so we run. 

Maybe away.  Maybe toward.

As Tim O'Brien says at the end of his story, "The Things They Carried," "[Our] loads will be heavier" but, we find the strength to "carry on."

Run on, friends, run on.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day #101

Today's 3 miler was my 101st consecutive run this year.


100 day streaking barrier? Broken.

It's been kind of a crazy week, too. Wrapping up some busy committee work, as well as the end of the term, at work, we had a surprise visit from my SIL and MIL, and then Norah barfed all over school today. Uff.

But, when is life not crazy?

I just know that I'd BE crazy if I had to handle this madness without running.

Monday, April 08, 2013

On Teething, A DNS, and Pushing a Dbl Jogger

Caleb has been a handful as of late.  Poor dude is teething something fierce, but instead of teeth coming in, it is just pure evil.  It's been about 10 days of various "symptoms" culminating over the weekend in an effort to make Mom and Dad's lives a living hell.  His general weekend philosophy seemingly was: "If I can't sleep, neither will you!"

The only things to make him happy were treats like cold, cold ice cream:

Otherwise, he was a bear.  So, poor sleep and dealing with the crabbiest almost-2-year-old on the planet meant I was spent.  Sunday's 10K?  I was out.

I bailed.

Friday night, I realized my online registration for the race hadn't gone through, and Saturday morning (after a night of not-so-great sleep), I decided to take the registration snafu as a sign, and I texted my friend Wendy, who I was supposed to meet up with, and told her the truth: I'm not showing.  She was understanding.

It wasn't that I didn't want to run (I still ran all weekend -- Viva La Streak!), but the thought of getting up early and driving to Boca to race?  It was just too much.

So, on Sunday, I decided to take on a challenge of a different sort.

I broke out the double stroller, which has been sitting idle for a LONG time, and I ran the kids to the park, let them play for awhile, and then ran them home.

So, what's harder than pushing two kids in a stroller into the wind? 

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

On our way to the park, I managed to crank it up to a whopping 10:30 min/mile pace, and I was thinking: "Man, this is great!  I need to do this more often!  We have tons of parks within running distance!"   But on the way home, I think I averaged an 11:30 min/mile pace, and I was thinking: "What fresh hell is this?"  

It was a total of 4 miles in 44:28.  It was a humbling running experience.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

March Tally

So, we're 4 days into April, and I realize that.  Kind of. 

March flew by for me -- it was a blur of spring break, then my grandpa's death and my subsequent trip to Wyoming, then Easter and a visit from my brother, and an unexpected visit from my SIL.  Before I knew it, March was in the rearview.

But, despite being a busy month, I still racked up 110 miles and continued my streak (total days now stacks up to 93!).  Plus, with a 10K at the beginning of the month, I set a new 10K PR, and that was pretty awesome.

As for April, the goals remain straightforward: I'm very close to tying my previous 100 day streaks, and dare I say it, I believe I will exceed those previous 100 day streaking barriers.  Thus, I plan to continue freakin' streakin'! 

Also, this weekend, I have another 10K, and while the bar is high for my level of awesomeness, we'll see if I can clear that bar.  As for the month's mileage, if I continue streaking, I should be able to maintain the standard I've set in the first 3 months of the year: Run at least 100 miles a month.  Last year, April was one of my lowest mileage months (I only ran 60 miles in April 2012), so if I hit the 100 mile milestone this month, I'll be pleased.

And, after April, my academic year pretty much comes to a close, so then it's just 4 months of straight up summer running!