I have been thinking about clean spaces. I just finished an article for the newspaper about my empty-nester friends and their clean, bright houses. I contrast that with the museum of clutter here at our house. There is just no getting to the bottom of it. Not even worth trying. These are the clutter years. We are homeschoolers with no energy to clean. So be it. I am trying to embrace the joys of childhood. No sense spoiling it with nag-nag-nagging about clutter. It will all be gone soon enough.
Obviously, I love to run. (Run away?) I think I am particularly drawn to running at this moment in my life, as opposed to triathlon or other more gear-intensive sports, because it is so clean. So easy. A person may choose to run simply, uncluttered by lots of stuff, lots of thinking, lots of noise.
Of course running can get noisy and cluttered. You can easily get obsessed by things like mileage, diet, shoes, training plans, etc, etc. But for now I am choosing to ignore most of that stuff and just run. Whatever I feel like running on a particular day (given the constraints of family life) I do. And it is total solace for my cluttered brain. A little hermit cell in my soul. I run early in the morning, in the quiet dark. It's lovely. Sometimes I run at dusk. Sometimes, though rarely, both. These, for me, are the beautiful times of the day.
During my violin lesson yesterday my teacher asked me why I run so much. This woman is decidedly not a runner. She absolutely doesn't get it. And I couldn't give her a reason that she could understand. "I just love it," I said. "It's my thing. I love everything about it. The long days, the people, the training, being outside, everything." She just shook her head, unsatisfied. She thinks I'm nutty.
"How can you run everyday?"
"How can you NOT?"
As I mentioned in my last post, my foot and ankle seem to be healing. I never thought I would see the day! This injury has lingered since July. But I have been upping the miles this month, and so far, so good.
So thoughts turn to races. To the idea of running all day with like-minded folks, to being tired, to finishing. I am so much looking forward to all of that. It has been a long, dry couple of seasons with no races in my life.
I love to see all of the blogs out there written by people who race all the time. I love to imagine myself on the courses, so picture the mountains, the trails, the views. I wish I could race more often, but I have made peace with the notion that these are not going to be big racing years. These are the child-raising, family-centered years. I am lucky that I am able to get out as much as I do. Lucky that I have such an understanding husband. Lucky that I take a day every now and then to just run, nothing else. It feels selfish, but it is so necessary for me. I am lucky that I realize that.
My first race will be the First Annual Traprock 50K right here in Connecticut on April 17th. I cannot pass that up. There are so few ultras here in the Nutmeg State, I definitely want to be part of this.
Depending on how that goes, I may or may not run Wapack 50 up on the New Hampshire/Massachusetts line on May 8. I tried to run this last year, but my stomach was bothering me terribly the week before the race, so I went up and volunteered instead. Turned out to be a fun weekend with Brian.
I definitely want to run Pittsfield Peaks 53 on June 5th. I loved this race last year. It's very tough and draws a fun group of hearty souls. Brian and I went up to VT together last year (his parents took the kids for the weekend: another reason I am lucky). He ran the 10-mile race, which gave his a huge dose of empathy for me. Late in the day, he ran back through the course and found me trundling up the last steep hill of the last mile of the course. "How are you still running?" he kept saying. How indeed!
So those are my plans. More to follow for summer and fall. Happy trails!