I'm a runner without a race. A plane without a flight plan. An obsessively compulsive like-to-have-things-mapped-out planner without a blueprint for how to get to somewhere, even though I don't know where that is. Without an entry into NYC for this fall (and lacking the time and energy to take on the fundraising that would be required for a charity entry), I am at a loss. The whole idea behind the June streak was to keep me motivated, so that I don't turn into a lifeless blob on the couch. That's precisely what happens when I don't have a goal in mind. I went into kind of a funk (OK, it was more than "kind of a funk," it was an all-out pre-mid-life crisis) last week, realizing that the NYC marathon was more than jut a goal race, it was a way to mark my birthday, my 40th birthday, and without it, I was facing turning 40 without a spectacular way to celebrate it.
It has a lot to do with the current state of affairs around here right now, too. The economy and the house situation have me feeling stuck, and I'm no longer satisfied with the idea of having to leave my home every week to earn a paycheck. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, I just wish I didn't have to leave my family to get it done. And while i am grateful for the warm safe home I am in now, the plan was to have been in a different house by now, and we all know how that worked out. So being in limbo about the house and the career, and being tired from the constant travel, and then not having a big race for the fall all combined to make me, oh I don't know, melt down. Thankfully, I have some very great girlfriends who helped talk me down and I have a good perspective on things now. Still don't feel in control of jack-squat, but I have a better perspective on it all.
One of the things we talked about is alternative ways to celebrate the birthday. I'd wanted to do a three-day Texas Hill Country bicycle tour last fall, right around mid-October, but decided not to pursue it because of the impending house deal going on at the time. But looking at it now, it seems like about the perfect way for me to stretch myself physically, which was what the marathon was going to be, and to do something new and fun at the same time. It was a women's only tour, with three days of riding, with different ride length/difficulty options for each day and spa services/gourmet meals in the afternoon and evenings. It would be great to get me comfortable with longer distances and also give me the active kind of get-away that I really enjoy. The only problem is that the link from last year is no longer active, and I haven't found another company that is organizing one for this fall yet.
So, that's the goal now -- a bicycle tour through Central Texas, for a couple of days in mid-late October. I'll have to work out logistics, whether it's with a tour company or with a riding club from that area or solo. But that's OK -- planning and logistics are my specialty. I'll have to get ready for it, too, which probably means that the July-August-Sept streaks will be centered around some sort of riding/spinning/exercycling activity instead of running (I'll still be getting my run on, don't you worry about that!). I'll need a new bicycle, but having the goal will give me the reason to either save the money for a new one or make the time to do the research/hunting for a quality used one. No, it's not the NYC marathon, but it might end up being exactly what I'm looking for. How's that song go? "You can't always get you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need."