Thursday, May 19, 2011

Love the One You're With

It was not an auspicious start to my run today. On the docket was 4 miles at race-pace, 800M "fast" and then 2 miles at race-pace. This 6.5 miles (plus recovering in between) takes kind of awhile. I knew that if I left the house at my usual time (4:50 AM) I was going to be - literally - running late. So, I set my alarm for 4:15 hoping to get out the door by 4:30 or 4:35. Unfortunately, I switched it from AM to PM when I set it. This is about the 5th time I've fouled up setting my alarm on my cell phone; one would think I would be smarter than this by now. One would be wrong!

So, I opened my eyeballs and thought, "Uh oh, it's too bright out for it to be earlier than 4:30." I was right. It was 4:47. After a 2-second "maybe I should just bag the whole thing" conversation in my head, I rushed out of bed and got dressed to go.

Now, I don't know about where you live, but here in New Hampshire we have had, ahem, a little rain. It was literally been raining since last Saturday. I have been pretty lucky that the precipitation has eased up some during my running times (except Sunday when I got totally washed away on my easy 8-miler). When I got about 2 miles from the track, the misty/sprinkle-y type rain became a full blown deluge. "Forget it. You weren't meant to do this today. Dunkin Donuts is open. Go to Dunkin Donuts and give yourself a break."

But I didn't. I parked the car at the track and started the first part of my run. Thankfully, the downpour eased up considerably and I merely got soaked on the run, as opposed to drown. My times were slower than I need them to be. I am hoping to run a sub-1:45, which means I need to run faster than 8:01 miles. I am shooting for 7:55s so that I have insurance as the miles get harder at the end of the race.

I didn't run 7:55s.
I didn't run 8:01s.
I ran 8:10s.

This isn't a total disaster. I mean, it was 5AM. I had fueled up at all. I had no warm up. It was raining. But, I'm starting to think I might need to face the fact that I stand a good chance of not achieving that sub-1:45.

As I was finishing up the first 4 miles, my iPod played "Love the One You're With." Now, taken literally, this song is pretty cynical, the message being: "Your love is out of town/unavailable, what the hell? Hook up with that chick over there... she's pretty cute." For some reason I like to run to it, though. It reeeallly got me thinking today.

(And now the blog takes a weird turn away from running so please be sure your seat belt is fastened and your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position)....

See, I just found out that a close friend of mine from high school is (once again) making national news because of her incredibly important research on cancer causing chemicals in household products. She is brilliant and a Professor at Duke and I can't think of anyone more deserving of recognition. She is completely self-made. First person in her family to go to college. She paid for everything herself. Not surprisingly, she was our class valedictorian. Guess who was the salutatorian?


Guess who spent a good deal of yesterday trying to make a 2-year-old follow the rules and not hit and not grab toys from others and not jump off the couch and not throw food and not put feet on the table? Guess who was NOT, say, finding ways prevent dangerous chemicals from ending up in the things we use to raise our children?

Yeah. Me.

Now, I have no desire to be a Professor at Duke. I never did. I was way more "social science" than "hard science" in school. I didn't have the fire in my belly to be that brand of successful. But, there was a time when I maybe could have been the journalist who interview her about her work. There was a time when I maybe could have been the PR person who helped promote her work. There was a time when I maybe could have been something other than what I am. Deep, dark, horrible wall of not knowing my destiny and not understanding my place right here....

So, back to "Love the One You're With". I got to thinking about how that song can be about a lot more than who your smooching. This morning I got thinking that although I know I am not in a great place career-wise, I CAN love the things about it that are good. I can love the time I get to spend with Elliott. I can love that I don't have to write report cards or dress up or wear make-up or commute. I can love that I don't have to do lesson plans or justify grades. I can love that I don't have to pay for daycare or worry about who is watching my kid. I am hoping that even thought I can't Love the Job I'm With I can Love Certain Aspects of the Job I'm With while I keep searching for another opportunity that will make me feel whole-r.

Aaaaannnnd.... I can Love the One I'm With with regard to my training. I was not loving this workout this morning. But after that song, I realized that I was in the middle of maybe the hardest workout of my whole training schedule. If I could get through it, then that's one step closer to my 1:45 or less.

Oh, and that last 2 miles I was supposed to do at race pace (or about 7:55 per mile)... I did 'em - in a complete downpour - at 7:13. I bet our class valadictorian can't do that.

"Love the One You're With"

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