I originally wrote this post on Monday and then my computer had Internet problems so I didn’t get to publish it immediately, and then was so busy this week at work, when I got home every night, the LAST thing I wanted to do was look at a computer screen!  Oh, and by the way, my first attempt at making homemade wheat bread that I mention below – it worked out well!

In not-so-great news, I’ve not run since Monday, and have been feeling pretty worn down, so I’ve been letting my body take it easy.

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You know that part of Forrest Gump where he says that he just started running, and then he kept on running, and then he ran some more? That’s what I felt like tonight.  I ran 8.48 miles on Saturday so that mentally next week when I run the 10K race, I can say to myself “keep going, it’s not as far as last week” when I want to stop. I rode the exercise bike yesterday for about 50 minutes, and then today set out to run 5.  My legs felt like lead at first, and my right shin just didn’t seem to want to warm up. For the first 3-4 miles or so.  I stopped a few times to stretch it, to no avail. A woman stopped me and asked for directions (I was of little help, as I don’t know the names of all the streets I run on, or in those neighborhoods, I just know where I’ve started and where I’m going to end up.  That last part sounded like a metaphor for life, didn’t it? If so, I wish it was true.)

The next three miles – well, when I hit mile 4, I was thinking, it’ll be nice to just do 5 today and be done with it.   Then I saw a family walking home from Silver Lake. To me, nothing says summer like walking home from the beach. And then I smelled someone’s campfire. That did it. At this point, I was smiling to myself, and thought, ok, let’s just see if I can do 6 tonight and then finish the loop around the lake by walking as a cool-down.  Then one of my favorite songs came on my iPod – “Everything’s Magic” by Angels and Airwaves. I listened to it at least 4 times as I ran around the lake again – it’s about 1.7 miles around. Ran past some of the same people walking, twice.

Then I decided, as I’ve been doing lately, to run up and over the train overpass – my thinking is if I can keep doing that at the end of my runs, not just at the beginning, it’ll keep me feeling strong, and help with my confidence during races, especially at the end. It worked. I sped up and then I kept going, even when I would normally stop. I ran my little extra almost-half-mile at the end, and voila, 7.3 miles.  It was in the range of 10 minute miles, only because of the last bit at the end.  I don’t care.

I am probably not going to PR this coming weekend, and that’s fine.  I decided tonight while out there on the  road that I have to just be happy now with feeling good on my runs. I’ve got too much going on at work and with life in general to put a ton of pressure on myself where running is concerned.  I want running to remain something I do for fun, and not something that I have to do, or an extra point of stress. No thanks.

So in two weeks, my goal is to have fun – hopefully beat 1 hour, but if I don’t, don’t beat myself up. I’m not familiar with the course, unlike how I am with the Tufts 10K race I’ll be doing in October. Lis is also running the Lone Gull 10K next week, and so far this year, she has definitely been my good luck charm. I’ve always run well when she’s been running also. I think it’s because of my mood when she’s around. Things tend to go well and she helps me to feel balanced.

In other parts of my life…

Bill and I had a good, pretty relaxing holiday weekend. We went for a long walk with Ruthie this morning – he showed me neighborhoods that they like to frequent, and which I’ve not run down before so now I have a new short route if I want it.

I think eventually Bill and I will move further out from the city (I know I’d love to have more open space) but for right now the market sucks so we really can’t think of selling. And our commutes would just get longer so that’s something to consider too.  It’s not that I want a bigger house – just more land, more wide open space.  Funny, that’s what upstate NY is like, where I’m from.  You never realize what you have/had until it’s gone, I believe the song goes.  So, we’ll be happy where we are.

We also did something a bit different this weekend – after 5 years we are finally using some of our wedding gifts that we’ve not used but have been meaning to. Like the ice cream maker. Now that we have a second freezer downstairs (courtesy of Bill’s mom and a house they inherited and are renovating to sell, yayyyy, we love it!) Bill wants to make chocolate ice cream.  He made up the mixture today and while I’m at my Friends of the Library board meeting tomorrow night, guess what he’ll be doing (other than making a mess out of the kitchen, LOL)?

As for me and tools that have not been used, but look like they’re going to start getting quite the workout – I used our standing mixer (I usually just use the handheld.)  To make bread dough. Yes, you read that right. I am trying to make bread from scratch.  Ever since I read Jenna Woginrich’s book, Made From Scratch,  I’ve been wanting to do things the more old-fashioned way. Well, I made a huge mess out of the machine – I had bread spooging over the side all over the place (Bill said it looked like the machine had thrown up, I think) but I also had fun. Right now, as I sit here writing this, I’m waiting for the bread to finish rising and then fall. Something about cooking seems to help me relax lately.

Wish me luck that I don’t screw this up.

Oh, and I’m doing latchhook right now. Yes, I am not afraid to admit it. Some of you out there might be wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Some of you may be laughing because you remember doing it yourself when you were a kid.

And, I’m also reading Chicken Soup for the Ocean Lover’s Soul. True sentimentality, I tell you. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’ve said to Bill that many of the essays in this book have made me cry. He said, “isn’t that the goal of all of those books?” I said “yes, probably so, but as long as it helps me to feel better about the world and life, then it’s good enough for me.”

One of the essays had a line that goes like this:

“Try reaching back: Since the human mind can hold but one idea at a time, you blot out present worry when you touch the happiness of the past.”

On my run tonight, the happiness of the past took hold in both memories of running some of my fastest races, and of times in my life when my grandma laughed so hard, she cried. I could literally hear her giggling away in my mind as I ran.

“You blot out present worry when you touch the happiness of the past.”   Good words to live by.

Thanks for listening.

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