Yesterday, I had another long run. 12 miles, to be exact. It was lovely…and no, I never thought I’d hear myself say that. But it was; the morning was cool, the fall colors were glorious and Hubby ran the first two miles with me, which made for good company. What really struck me, however, was the difference between this weekend and last weekend’s 10 mile race.
I am beyond proud of that race. I managed to achieve my less than earth-shattering goal of 10 minute miles– despite the naysayers. (ahem, honey.) I mean, I ran my legs OFF. Blame it on the fact that I was assigned to the last corral of runners. Out of four thousand or so participants, the organizers looked at my previous race times and set me firmly in the back, fearing that I would prove nothing more than a speed bump for the 3,500 runners who were faster than me. I was in the ghetto corral. Needless to say, I didn’t accept the (totally accurate) judgement gracefully and ran myself harder than I ever had…which was awesome, on one hand, but extremely painful on the other.
This weekend, however, I was mentally telling myself to take it easy, approaching it as more of a lope than a run. I was loping along, kind of enjoying how relatively easy it was, when I checked my time and realized that the difference between the two runs came down to one minute per mile.
One freaking minute.
Does that strike anyone else as a metaphor? Or maybe you don’t push yourself through your days with the underlying panic that you are just not going to get it all done? I mean, most days I feel exactly like I did during that first run; like if I fight through to the end, I’m going to be so impressed with all I did, but there’s an equally good chance that I’m going to collapse and require professional attention.
Could the difference really be a matter of slowing down just the teensiest bit? Well, that would just be too easy and in COMPLETE violation of my personal “If it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t count” philosophy. I honestly don’t know if I’m capable of it. There is just so much to do! Always…until I am dead. (Again, I really need to work on those personal mottos of mine…there’s not much of a chance of making a career switch to writing Hallmark cards at this point. I can’t imagine, “So much to do and then you’ll be dead” would be a big seller around the holidays… although it’s totally, totally true.)
I guess I’ll have the opportunity to test the theory next weekend. Hubby and I are going on vacation. Actual, sans children, vacation. The first in fourteen years. I know, shocking. I’m sure I seem exactly like the vacationing type. (Oh, where is the “sarcasm” font when you need it?) Maybe after I get back, I’ll have more of a lope-y attitude to my days…maybe I’ll have slowed down enough to appreciate how easy life can be…or maybe I’m asking an awful lot of just one weekend. I don’t know. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to just meander through my days, I’m not sure WHAT will happen.
Well, that’s just a bald-face lie. Napping is what’s going to happen, my friends, lots and lots of napping. On the plus side, it doesn’t get any slower than that. What can I say? It’s for science.