Monday, November 10, 2008

Trees and Trails

I was in Connecticut at the beginning of the week visiting my mother and brothers, I forget how pretty the trees are in the fall and the variety of trees(huge elms, maple and dogwoods) compared to the Midwest.  I got in a short run my first day there and it was fun to jog on rolling hills and surrounded by so many beautiful trees and it was my old run that I used to do to train for field hockey so that brought back memories and it was field hockey weather. But I never got the long run in that I planned, at my mother's, my slacker tendencies really start to kick in, so instead my last day there I helped to get rid of things and clean. These are pictures of the driveway to my mother's house and the lane that I grew up on, Huckleberry Lane. Houses are only on one side of the street so it is very woody.  As a kid, I went exploring in the woods all the time. Growing up, there were extensive horse riding trails all over but now with a lot of the open land developed the riding trails are gone. No wonder I love nature so much and trail runs. 
 I got back on Wednesday and this past Sunday I did the Universal Sole Trail run, the Rock N Sole Trail Challenge,  in Schiller Woods near O'Hare, 5.25 miles It is kind of surreal to be running through woods and see a 747 over your head about to land. It was freezing and sleeting when we started. What a difference from all the beautiful colors in the trees in Connecticut, the woods for the race were bare and grey. I did break 10 minutes/mile for my time despite being a trail run which was a break through for me, slow to some but faster of late for me. I love trail runs, I love hopping over logs and running up hills, it just makes the race much more fun and I love taking long strides down the straight away on a carpet of spongy leaves(while listening to my run faster song, Move Along), it is less stress on my legs that I don't worry about pushing off hard. Needless to say I started off freezing and by the end of the race I had peeled off hat, gloves and my outer layer. My slacker voice in my head at the start of the race was thinking, "will my legs move?", "will I be able to run I haven't been running that much this week?", "all the people here seem pretty hard core I have the potential to be last". I did have the potential to be last, there weren't a lot of "my people" there but actually I came in in the middle of the pack which I was pretty happy about.  A great guy named Eric(he is a real runner and came in first in his age group) gave me a ride to and from the race, so I didn't have to bicycle there and I made it just in time to get to the store and work for the rest of the day.  The grey skies get to me after awhile but running so well(for me) in the race gives me hope that my slacker tendencies may be taking a back seat for awhile. I will never be a very fast runner, I think my best avg/mile time during my fittest period of my life was a 6:45/mile. I will be happy just getting back to an 8 minute mile for a 10K which I am not close to, yet. I am past the point of being happy just finishing, but I am one of those people on a slow path of improvement so every little tiny bit of progress I see is HUGE for me. In races like this one that are small and I still see 60 and 70 year olds running 8/9 minute miles gives me great hope that it is possible to improve as you age. The Turkey Trot is on the calendar for Thanksgiving although I get sad that I won't be skiing at Snowbird which had been part of my Thanksgiving ritual for about 10+ years,  run the Turkey Trot, and then hop on a plane to Salt Lake the same day and be up at the Cliff Lodge by 9 pm Utah time. I got in 3 days of skiing up there for about 10 years. And I am still pondering the Huff 50K for the end of the year.
        Finally, I have done no work on "The Jagged Edge", I like blogging, I write in my journal but I have "not been in the mood/motivated" to work on the story. This gets me thinking how much do I really want to write a story? I do but like a lot of things that are good for me, I somehow put them off and do the things I am "suppose to do", like keep my apartment clean(it also makes me feel more in control of things when I clean), write in my journal, search endless online for the answer to many things, at the end of a lot of poems I used to end them with,"I wish someone had the answer", work at the store, work on the magazine, job hunt. I guess I haven't been quiet or still enough to be in the mood to write about the story. My goal for the week is to find some quiet time for an hour or two and sit down and write. It is really calming and fulfilling to write 6-8 pages. It is just a matter of getting started.  To be continued. JB

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