It’s been almost two weeks since I last posted, and it feels like two months. Boston. That happened. And I wanted to write about it, but I ran instead. I found Tualatin Hills Nature Park and fell in love with the trails. I wogged there two weekends in a row and will likely make this weekend a third. And I wogged 10 miles last Saturday, a feat that is small beer to some, but a big ol’ keg to me.
Last Monday I was shaken to the core by the bombing. I was working, noting tweets from local runners and their finish times when suddenly my local running store said, “What’s happening in Boston?” I checked CNN and felt sucker-punched. For a long time, I wanted to think maybe it was a natural accident, but I think I knew better from the start. So I followed Twitter and the news through the day, in touch with my newfound community. And Monday night I did my training without music, running for the majority of the time. Instead of songs, I appreciated the children laughing at the park where I ran. I knew a child had died in Boston that day, and their laughter was a balm. I found more acts of compassion through the week and continue to support the survivors of that horrific event in the only way I know how – I appreciate what I can do. I appreciate my limbs. I feel connection with a greater body even as I run alone.
Before that, I found the nature park. Holy hells, I am so hooked on trails and dirt and mud rather than asphalt and concrete and car exhaust. I’m committed to these half marathons, a 10K and a 5K through August, but after that, it’s going to be all about the trails. I was enchanted. Enchanted! There isn’t a better word. The occasional mist, the mud, the spongy earth… the scents! (And, ahem, the apparent fragrant celebration on this past Saturday of 4/20.) And fat little curious squirrels. Slow-moving grazing deer. Frogs. I swear to the freaking gods I was like Snow White with the damned singing birds. Or… maybe more like Fiona in Shrek. Either way, I love it, I look forward to it and I can easily spend hours doing it. The connection I feel to these woods is sublime, magickal and divine. This is what it means to look upon the faces of the gods.
More mundanely, I’ve been thinking a great deal about the finer points of training, looking for some feedback. I’m trying to work with the chirunning form, but I really need a mirror or something to make sure I’m getting it right. Certainly it feels awkward enough. I am marveling at how my body can be so absolutely drained and sore after I finish the long runs, but bounces back the next day with minimal soreness. I have never had a movement experience like this and I’m loving it. I want to run more, I want to skip faster through the woods, and I’m working on the how without the excessive pain. So intervals of running now. Somewhere in June I think I’ll add some serious cross-training in, yoga and maybe some strength training. I want it to be stuff I can do at home, preferably in the backyard.
So yeah. 11 miles on Saturday, then tapering until the 1/2 on May 19th. I have a 10K on Cinco de Mayo. I’m trying to set myself up not to chicken out. Wish me luck!