Sunday, February 02, 2014

Week 13 DONE: Back on Track

An awful lot of thoughts run through your head when it's 33 degrees out and rainy, like whether you are crazier than the people who paid to run a race in this weather, because you're doing it for free, or whether you really are smarter because you didn't have to pay for the privilege of stepping in puddles of cold rain.

You think about how if not for the commitment to run a full marathon in 13 weeks you would be snug in your house, warm and cozy, instead of breathing fog and hoping the rain and mist doesn't turn to sleet and snow, but, then again, how much does your bad-azz quotient increase if it does? And then you think of the 168 chairs in Oklahoma City, and how the people they represent would love to run outside in the rain just one more time, and there's snow there today, shrouding the chairs, large and small, in a blanket of cold whiteness, so it's really not that bad here, along the creek,with just a fluffy red cardinal here and there breaking up the grey of the leafless trees and the cloudy skies.

You think about how things are much better today in general than they were just a few days ago, and no, all the problems in front of you aren't solved, not quite, but you are better, and you're handling it somewhat more readily, and having to explain to someone how you eat an elephant makes you remember how to eat an elephant, and for once you listen to the words coming out of your own mouth and cut the meat from the bone, and dice it into small pieces and then you pick up a fork and you start eating. And you remember that it will take a while, and there are pieces of that damn elephant that you can't eat, and that's okay, you just set that aside and you deal with it later.

And you make it through 12 miles in near solitude and you don't break down in tears and angry sobs this time and that's a good thing. But it's also okay that sometimes you do break down in tears and angry sobs and it doesn't mean anything except that sometimes you just need to release all those feelings, and the birds and the squirrels along the path don't judge. They chatter and scold you, no doubt, especially on days like today when there was not one other human on the trail, but they don't judge.

And when the rain stops, and it's just you and the trail and the wind and a bird or two along the way, you realize that it was actually a pretty damn good day for a run.

And then you can go home and hang out in your cozy warm house. And have a piece of chocolate cake.

Week 13: 31 miles, including 12-mile long run, weekday routes with hellaciously hilly streets around campus, and more crazy Texas weather.

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