This morning, for the first time since I’ve been home, I woke up to blue skies and sunshine poking through my skylight overhead. And that was 9 hours ago, and it still hasn’t clouded back over and fogged up yet, so I’m counting this as a beeyooteefull day to be a Mainer!!
After waking with a smile, I headed out for a quick 9 miler around the neighborhood. I hit the trails again yesterday and had a heck of a time – slipping and sliding down muddy slopes and slogging through newly created streams. It was a grand ole time. Although I don’t think I was able to truly revel in it because I had a tiny apprehension about twisting an ankle or some other lovely mud-induced injury, since I have a race this weekend, I didn’t think it would be too cool to get hurt now. I am a bit nervous and excited and just sort of interested to see how the race goes this weekend. It is my first ultra, a 50 miler, 12 miles longer than the longest run I’ve ever done. Since I’ve been home, I’ve fallen back in love with the feeling of running fast (I forgot how good that feels!) so I have mostly been going out and running as fast as I can for as long as I can. Translation – no runs over 17 miles, and pace around 7:45 to 8:15. Not exactly proper training for an ultra. But we’ll see. Hoping my legs have some muscle / endurance memory thing going on. It will certainly be interesting.
Any advice from fellow runners is welcome – for instance, what do I put in my drop bag? Change of clothes? Shoes/socks? I don’t even know if I’m setting any goals for myself for this race, which will be a first. I’m just curious to see how my body deals with it. Hopefully it paves the way for more 50 milers, 100 milers, and ultimately the Western States 100, a goal I decided on when I signed up for my first half-marathon. At the time, 100 miles seemed utterly incomprehensible, I didn’t even have space in my brain to understand why and how I could push myself to run 100. It’s a bit more in reach now, but I’ve still got a ways to go.
Aside from running, I’ve decided on my next adventure!!! Well, for the summer anyway. I just bought tickets to Europe, leaving in two weeks. I will work with a friend on a promotional tour throughout Germany – a catering company hired him to do the photography, and I’ll assist on that and get to see a ton of different places in Germany! And at the end of the summer, I’ll be working at a summer camp in Italy, singing, dancing, and playing with the bambini, helping them learn English. Sounds like a fun summer to me : ) I’ve also started working on writing a book, I’ve been holing up in Starbuck’s every day and piecing all the bits together and working on narration etc. So far so good, I like the routine – run all morning, write all day. If anything it certainly helps me reflect and process this journey and all that it means to me.
Now that I’ve got this race to think about, the book to work on, and this next adventure to look forward to, I’m feeling a bit more peace of mind. It does feel a bit sudden that I’m heading out the door again, but an opportunity like this is hard to turn down, and I’m following my heart and my instinct, and they are telling me it’s the right choice. Just hoping my family doesn’t kill me, I did promise my Mom a year of rest from worrying…