Last weekend I convinced The Boy to stop working for an hour and come out for a walk with me. I wanted to walk along my run route with my pedometer and take note of mile-markers. I wanted to know where the 3/4 mile marker was, where the 1 mile mark was, and where the 1.5 mile mark was. My goal is to run a 5K, and I run out to the marker, turn and run back. I walk 5 mins from my house, down to the trail and to the tree that starts my route, and I walk 5 minutes again at the end. I visually decided where the spot past 1.5 would be to get to 1.6 and that is my end goal. Right now I am running 2 miles at a stretch, and hope to be at 2.5 miles by Saturday. I'm not sure where that marker is, but figure it's about halfway between 1 and 1.5, and I know it takes me about 7 minutes to run 1/2 a mile right now (I'm not going for speed yet, just distance) so I'll plan accordingly.
I run on old railroad tracks that as you can see have no rails anymore, in the woods between rt. 12 and a river. On my way out the river is on my right side. Before I hit my mile mark, I run over 2 bridges. The first bridge is over the river, as it turns off and runs under the highway and off to the north. The second bridge, the one in the photo, goes over an old dirt road. When I turn around at my mile marker, and start to head back, this is the view I see before I run over that bridge. How can a person not be inspired by that? Mr. Man has been coming with me, on his bike, and we haven't seen any wildlife except for dogs with their owners, and on Thursday we saw 2 turkeys.
I run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday's. Tuesday and Thursday after school, and Saturday mornings. Saturday while I was walking back after having finished running 2 miles and feeling pretty darn good about it, I had a few deep realizations. I realized first that October is half over, and this year, for the first time.. I'm OK with October. I don't know if it's because I'm so busy, or endorphins, or because that finally, enough years have gone by... but I've gotten to almost the mid-way point, and haven't sunk into an "October State of Mind." This made me enormously happy, because I love October. The smells, the colors, the crunch of leaves under my feet, sweaters... all of it. This all might change as we get closer to Halloween, but we'll see. Right now I feel pretty good about it. The second surprising thing, is that my knees don't hurt. I've always put forth that I don't bike/run/etc. because of my knees. I have bad knees. Don't ask me what's wrong with them, because I don't know and neither do "they". Probably cartilage deterioration and only time will tell... but all I know is that I have been running for 8 weeks (2 of which I only ran 1 day and pulled something so took the other 2 days off) and my knees don't hurt. Huh.
The last thing isn't so much of a realization, as it was an admittance. I finally admitted to myself as I walked down the street towards my house, that the reason I started running wasn't because I was tired of walking so much all the time. I love walking. I enjoy my morning/lunch walks (that I haven't done in like a month). I enjoy the slower pace, and the view along the way. I started running to cope with the insane amount of hours The Boy has been working. Walking after dinner was always something we did together. Not always, because sometimes I didn't want to walk with him, or he didn't want to walk at all... but more often than not. For the past few months, he's been working crazy assed hours at school, working from home at night, and doing work on the side for his old company. Walking alone because he was too busy for me was making me sad and my mood ugly so I started running for a change of pace. Running is something I will always do alone and not something I have to feel bad about if someone doesn't come with me. Last year they did this big switchover thing in the district and he spent the summer before school and the whole year busy and working late and lots of hours. Then this summer he worked a ton due to construction projects and blah blah blah. He tells me all the time that he'll start coming home on time and work less at night, and it never seems to happen. Then the past 3 or 4 months it's just been more, and more, and more.. and I started to feel like his job was more important that I am. More important the our family, and time we need to spend together, and I felt sad and moody and depressed. I hate feeling that way. I hate that we've gotten to this point, and I'm soooo tired of having the conversation with him about it. I run to escape it. I run so that I don't have to be home wondering if he's actually going to leave within half an hour of his "end time" or not. I run so that I'm not here when he doesn't show up when he said he would, when he's late to pick up Ms. Thang from drums, and when he calls to say that yet again, he's going to be late. I am not proud of this, but it is what it is. I don't know how long the endorphins will help my mood enough to not have a meltdown of epic proportions, but so far so good. I don't know how else to handle this situation and so I run to escape it. I figure it beats going back to smoking.