Monday, April 18, 2016

Boston Marathon Monday

Congratulations to all the finishers of the Boston Marathon!  It looks like the weather was absolutely amazing.

I scheduled the day off of work today knowing I would want to watch live coverage of the Marathon.  The first year I was in to running I tried to follow it on my smart phone while I was working and it was such a big let down.  It didn't work out well at all and I missed pretty much everything.  Last year I took the morning off and went to work when it was over but I was bummed because you just can't watch it and not want to go for a run right after!  This year I was smart about it.

In honor of the day, I went for a seven mile trail run.  A bonus of taking the day off (and the rainy weather) was a quiet, lonely trail.  No people, no bicycles, no dogs.  It was the most peaceful run I have ever had.  The only sounds were the bird songs and the wind in the trees.

Those first 2 miles were TOUGH.  I hadn't eaten much and it's been a high mileage week (more to come on that).  Thankfully, I had packed a GU and it helped bring my tired legs to life for the rest of my run.

I just couldn't help myself.  I stopped many times just to take in the view.  I had to take my own advice and remember not to live my experience from behind the lens of the camera but I wanted to snap this beautiful view from a high point just for my loyal blog readers.  I wish the camera did justice to the moment - the vast view over the valley, the low hanging rain clouds, the gentle breeze and the earthy smell of rain soaked dirt.

Rain soaked dirt.

Just me and the dirt.

I've come to the conclusion that my best editor lives in my legs and she gets quite vocal when those legs are running.  I do my best thinking and my best blog planning when I'm on a run.  Today I discovered that she works best when I'm running on dirt.  When my mind has to pay attention to every detail in the trail before me to keep from tripping on rocks and roots.  Just me and the dirt.

The downfall of the editor is the end of the run.  As soon as the legs stop moving and I'm climbing in to my truck to move on to the next thing, the editor goes back to sleep and she usually forgets to leave a memo for my conscious brain so I know what to write in my blog when I get home.

Mitch told me last time I was lamenting over my lost creativity that I should use the voice recorder on my phone and dictate as I run.  I'm not keen on the plan because running with my phone in my hand just seems to ruin that synergy between my legs and the editor.  Not to mention the potential distraction that can potentially cause me to eat dirt for breakfast.  But I took the advice today and took out the ol' iPhone and dictated some thoughts.  I'm not convinced it is practical, but it took less time than it would have taken to type it out on the notepad.  As a writer, I am definitely a work in progress.

As my conscious brain kept a careful watch on the trail, the editor went to work analyzing the Boston Marathon and my personal feelings about my sport's most prestigious event.  Anyone who knows me very well (and many who hardly know me at all) knows that my goal is to qualify for and run in the Boston Marathon.  Watching the events of the day solidified that resolve a hundred times over.  I WILL get there.  I will find a way to make it happen.  I am willing to put in the work and do what it takes to earn it.

But the editor is also a good judge of common sense and this is what she came up with today:

50K.  The Rut.  Over 10,500 feet of elevation gain.  Trails.  Mountains.  High altitude.  These are the goals I need to focus on for 2016.  This year is about me and the dirt.  It's about building endurance, learning to navigate obstacles and climb hills that I have hitherto avoided as much as possible.  I don't have to care about speed and for the sake of staying healthy and making it to the start line, I NEED to not care about speed.

When I think about it, I've given myself a blessing this year.  I get to enjoy the adventure of running!

So this year, I am going to set my sights on the big race I'm already committed to and train accordingly.  Next year I can start Boston Qualification training in earnest with a fresh perspective.  My endurance and mental toughness will be fine tuned to the task and then I can put in the hard work of building speed.

Just me and the dirt.  It's going to be a great running season!

I had so much other stuff to write about thanks to an interesting week of running but I'm afraid I've been wordy enough for one evening.  I guess that means I'll be posting again later this week.

Happy Boston Marathon Monday!  Reach out and grab your goals by the horns!

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