After a bit (!!) of a hiatus, I find myself needing to restart this ol’ blog of mine. In part because training for Boston starts this week. And, in part, because this transitional phase of my life means there are plenty of thoughts swimming about in my head, and they need a place to land sometimes. I think this blog will be much more of a run-and-life blog now than a running blog. Although, I suppose at the end it’s all the same, because as many runners can verify, most of these random thoughts and life realizations and epiphanies solidify from the ether on runs.
Running has become, in a way, my control point and foundation from the otherwise unfamiliar world I am in. I realize this could sound unhealthy in many ways, but I really do think it is helping me feel like myself, despite being in an unfamiliar country, with an unfamiliar language, getting used to an unfamiliar job after being an expert in my old one, driving on unfamiliar roads… It certainly is a shock to the system to go from complete routine and familiarity to the complete opposite. I can’t even call it stress. Overwhelmed would be the most accurate description of my status quo. There are two times in the day I feel like ME: when I’m on a run or when I’m R’s arms. The former has been there for me during all the stressful times in the past 5 years and is my proactive way of beating into submission any doubts or fears I have that this is going to work. Because it was on runs in NYC that I gained the courage to make the move and take this giant step. The latter is the symbol of why this is all worth it – the relationship with R we have dreamed of and worked for over the distance for so long.
So, it is with perfect timing I have chosen to train for a spring marathon: not only does my life need that constant right now, but I couldn’t have chosen better climes in which to train. After a couple weeks of adjusting rest days, long run days and the alarm clock, I now find myself arising before the sun to run before work/Ulpan. This task is made exponentially easier by the fact that I am not forcing myself out into the winters to which I am accustomed. Instead, I don shorts and a long sleeved t-shirt and step out onto trails in the mountains outside Jerusalem. Every morning, as the sun rises, I find myself in breathtaking beauty. Every day the mountains are in a different mood. Sometimes dark and damp, other times misty and mysterious, other times bright and brilliant. Always magical. There has been a point on every run on my usual weekday routes where I round a corner to find a view that absolutely takes my breath away. Anticipating these moments as I’m tying my shoes and drinking my coffee makes the early morning alarms that much easier to bear.
I’ll leave the technical aspects to my upcoming plan for another post. I am still, Type A(nal) that I am, still tracking mileage and times (even though the hills depressingly affect my times – although hopefully they will only help my Boston time and the shape of my legs) on my trusty Excel spreadsheet. Things have fluctuated a bit more than I would have normally liked heading into a training plan, but I still have managed to stay above 40 mpw. No matter, though – the mileage and training is now secondary to the fact that now, more than ever, it is my soul benefitting from the running.