It’s hard to believe that the new year will be here in just 5 or so hours! I swear it seems like just a minute ago, I was looking down the barrel of 2014 and committing to my first marathon! Of course, back then, I was just committing to “a” marathon. I honestly don’t think I would have said back then that I’d do a second one, but here I go anyway. 😉 Even though I’ve chosen a training program that will be very challenging (when did I become an “intermediate” marathoner?!), I’m excited about it and looking forward to having a great race. I’m also looking forward to running it with my four awesome friends and my son Jamie. I’ve already registered my relay team, and I’m excited to train with them and run 26.2 miles with some of the most inspiring runners I know!
My training began last week, and I had my first long run on Saturday, just 8 miles. Which of course makes me laugh…when did 8 miles become “just”? 😉 I started slow and then got messed up because I had my Garmin display set on “average pace” instead of “lap pace.” Oops. Eventually I figured it out, and although I wouldn’t say my pace was spectacular, I did manage a truly easy run for me.
This intermediate training plan has me running five days a week (gulp!), but although that’s kind of daunting, I know in the long run, it will pay off. I do my midweek long runs on Tuesdays and Fridays…oy! Nothing like getting up at o’dark hundred to run 8 miles before work!! Thankfully, I’ve been off work this week and half of last week, so I haven’t had to get up quite so early. I’ve made sure to be on the road by no later than 8am, and I’ve seen some beautiful sunrises these last few days.
I’ve also had some seriously cold runs!
It was a brisk 16.8 when I started this morning’s 3-mile run, but it got down to 15.4 by the time I was done. With those 14 mph winds, it was pretty frickin’ cold! 😉 And yet…after running 13 miles in 6 degree weather, I realize that it’s all relative, ha ha!
I’ve really enjoyed my time off work this week, more than you can imagine. 😛 It’s been great to have my husband off work this week, as well…he doesn’t get many days off in his line of work, so a whole week is a blessing. On Monday and Tuesday, I did some errands and mostly just putzed around while all my boys played on their electronics (new Christmas gifts), but today I decreed that our family of four would not sit in front of screens but would instead do something fun, outside of the house. 😉 We all got a vote, and options presented included the Toledo Zoo (JJ), the Imagination Station (Jamie), and the National Air Force Museum (my husband). No one could agree on any of those, but guess what we all did agree on? My choice: the Henry Ford Museum! 😀
We had a great time, and we saw lots of great exhibits, such as the trains, the different “freedom” periods of the U.S. (the Revolution, the Civil War, Suffrage, and Civil Rights), and more. When we arrived, we discovered they were having a 20% off sale on admission and membership, and I was convinced to finally buy an annual family pass. This actually made me a much better museum companion; anyone who knows me knows that I love history (I have a degree in it), and I am that geek who must read Every. Single. Informational. Plaque. at a museum. But, because I knew I would be able to come back all year long for free, I was much more understanding when the kids wanted to drag me away from my information absorption because they were bored. 😉 I can’t wait to go back–alone!! 😉 (By the way, the picture of the alarm clock on display is there because it is the exact same alarm clock I have in my bedroom…clearly, I have a piece of history! My kids thought it was hysterical. 😉 )
Speaking of my love of history, I have mentioned more than once on my blog that I adore historic architecture. (In case you didn’t know, I live in a 103-year-old house…well, 103 as of tomorrow, at least–it was built in 1912. 😉 ) I love looking at old homes and buildings in my area, and one of the best benefits of running I’ve discovered is that I have seen so much amazing historic architecture while running that I had previously missed in my life while driving by in my car. (Note this post for one such example that I had missed for 30 years!) Right here in my own neighborhood, I’ve been fascinated by a house that I could always tell was clearly very old, though I’m not sure of the exact date it was built. I drive by it every Monday on the way to take my kids to school, and I’ve run by it many times on my long runs (it’s on a less-traveled road, and I prefer those for obvious reasons). When I’ve run by it in the past, I’ve found it to be rather un-friendly in appearance: small (like many very old houses), not very well kept-up, blocked by pine trees planted directly in front as if to ward off visitors, no one ever outside when I go by (as if the occupants don’t want to socialize), and even a rather menacing “Beware of Dog” sign nailed to one of the pine trees by the driveway.
And yet, despite all these rather foreboding warnings, I’ve always hoped that one day, on one of my runs, I might be lucky enough to see someone in the yard. Being the extreme extrovert I am, I wouldn’t hesitate to stop if that happened and strike up a conversation (by force, if necessary, ha ha!) to ask questions about the house and its history. I’ve always known it had to be one of the oldest houses in our area, and I’ve been dying to find out more about it. (These are the things that keep history majors awake at night.) A week ago last Saturday, on my last “long” run before my training program began, I plotted out a route that would take me past the house once again. (I live in the country…there aren’t a lot of choices for routes!) As I rounded the curve toward that road, I couldn’t help but think, once again, that maybe this would be the day I saw someone outside, and I would finally get a chance to talk to the owners about the history of the house. It sounds silly, but I really wanted to know more about this historic “gem” in my area. As I approached the spot where I knew where the house was, I stopped dead in my tracks and stared at the sight before me.
To my horror, instead of looking at an amazing piece of history, I was staring at a pile of rubble. It had been demolished!! In fact, the backhoe and its operator were still there, trying to clean up the remnants of the house that I had admired for so long. I stood there for five minutes, watching the backhoe operator clear out the rubble. I saw the single green wing chair, upon which a chainsaw rested haphazardly, and idly wondered if it had been saved for a purpose. But the reality was, it didn’t matter–the house, that amazing historic house, was gone. I was absolutely heartbroken, and I couldn’t stop myself from crying over the waste of this amazing home that had held such historic value. A voice in my head screamed, How could no one have seen the value of this home?!
Eventually, I composed myself and continued on in my run, but I thought about it for a long time. I was sad that it was gone, and I was almost equally sad to realize that I had never taken a picture of it. I had admired this house for so long, and it was devastating to me to know I would never have a physical memory to cherish.
The longer I ran, the longer I pondered it all, and I came to realize that life is very much like that house. No one took care of it, and it was clearly neglected, until the point at which the only option was to demolish it. That made me think about how much we humans are like that. If we, as the keepers of of bodies, don’t take care of our given vessel, what happens? Do we get to a point where we destroy ourselves so much that our bodies seem worthless? To the point where we feel there is no hope for it?
Many years ago, I treated my body much the same as that house was treated. It existed, but it was neglected, until the point where it was in a terrible state. Thank goodness I chose to rehabilitate my body, to find the good that can come of it, instead of continuing on the downward spiral that might lead toward “demolition.” There are other aspects of my life right now that are as desperately in need of repair, just like that old house was. In 2015, I’m going to choose to make some changes, not just in my health, but in other areas of my life, and I know that I can and will do what needs to be done to bring new hope to my life. I hope that, if you are feeling like you’re close to “demolition,” in any part of your life, that you’ll find the courage and the motivation to make changes that will ensure that no one thinks that you are a lost cause–especially you! You can do it! I have faith in myself, and I have faith in you, too! The transformation to an amazing you begins right now!
Thank you to all those who have read and/or commented on my blog in the past three years. This place keeps me sane and provides me with a place to journal my own “history,” and I truly, gratefully appreciate that you are a part of it. 🙂
Happy new year! Here’s to an amazing 2015–for all of us!