Saturday, November 8, 2014

Runner Breaks: Perspective

It's been, as usual, a long time since I've written. The mid-late fall at our house is like a three-ring circus, and two of the rings are usually major musical theater productions. This season has been no exception. Before I go into the shameless self-promotion section of this post, I guess I ought to do a  brief update on my running.

I recovered enough from my stupid calf strain to participate in the 15 mile race that was attached to the Ghost Train Ultra marathon. The weekend was exactly what I needed it to be: a wee break from motherhood, a re- or first-ever connection with running friends, ample but not excessive travel time, and fantastic weather. I won't even attempt to do a play-by-play of the weekend since it is so far out of my brain. The mighty band of Vermont Badass Ultrababes that were kind enough to include me in their merriment ROCKED their perspective races. From 30 miles - 100 miles, I am fairly certain that each of them achieved at least one of their goals. (We runners never go out without an A, B, and C goal, ya know? So there's always a taste of success!) I was very inspired  by them and think I may dip my toe back into the ultra arena next spring after Boston. Maybe.

The 15 mile race was Sunday morning so the folks shooting for 100 miles had been running for almost 24 hours when we started. One of my goals (don't ask me if it was A, B, or C) was to just be exceptionally supportive of all of them. I have no idea how it might feel to keep your body in motion for over 24 hours straight, so my hollering to them as I went by them (coming or going... the course was out and back) may have been completing annoying or completely appreciated. The good thing about having fresh legs compared to those that have already done 90+ miles is that you aren't around for long to find out and can just assume you were just what they needed or wanted at that moment.
A short bridge I found to be way too scary for a person running on through the night. Good thing I wasn't running through the night!

Amazing VT runners. So. Freaking. Amazing.

My BRF, Lauren, had a foot injury and couldn't run either. She was a LEGIT hero and went out and did 15 miles of walking in the middle of night with some of the baddest of asses. I was sound asleep at the Hampton Inn, for the record!

I pulled a Phoebe and planned to run the course and not race it.... but then of course I raced it. Not 100%. When I met up with the Vermont Badasses who were still at it I stopped and walked with them for a bit. Oh, and there was one desperate port-a-potty stop at about mile 5... but by the end I was really gunning for the finish line. It was a gorgeous day, an insanely beautiful course, and it felt so freaking good to let loose with some speed. I was as sore as after my last marathon the next couple of days, but it was worth it.

Then, of course, after the race, I got home and faced the reality of my husband and I being part of two major musical theater productions: he is directing the high school's The Sound of Music and I am The Cat in the Hat in our community theater's production of Seussical the Musical. Elliott is also in Seussical. His show is this weekend. (I saw it last night. SO good!) My show opens next weekend. If you have ever been part of a show you know how the last couple of weeks go. It's just nuts. Plus exhaustion. Plus stress. All in all, a good time!!
We are keeping the costumes and sets a secret to enhance the "wow" factor when the curtain opens, though I kinda wish we weren't. They are so.freaking.amazing. It's going to be a great show, despite the narrator... (me).

I am, therefore, not even worrying about running. I am purely going for when-I-feel-I-can mental health runs. This week that happened to only be Monday morning and today. Today I got a bit of a bonus in because I ran 5 miles to the theater clean up (gotta scrub those toilets before the audience comes!) and then ran the 5 miles home. It was exactly what I needed. I am going to keep running (or not running) however it suits me until the show is over. Then I will look around and see if any holiday-themed races strike my fancy/fit my calendar & budget. Otherwise, I am hitting Boston training pretty hard come late December.

It's so obvious - yet comical - how it is to take a break from running when it's a conscience choice:

"Yup, too much other stuff going on... stuff that I WANT to do and ENJOY. I am going to lay off the runs for now."

Compare that to my other recent and heartbreaking breaks from running caused by not-my-fault and then TOTALLY-my-fault injuries:

"I am losing my mind. I can't function without running. I may commit manslaughter if I can't run. WHY DO THESE THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE LIKE ME?!?!?!?"

Yup, Totally obvious. And, as far as my personality is concerned, totally unavoidable. Oh, well.

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