For the first time in a long time today's run took effort to get started. Off schedule, step back week, icy cold wind. Why bother. Only 10 miles. Other things to do.
All the advice says go out for 10 minutes. Even if it's only 10 minutes.
I've read running described as an "undifferentiated" activity - it allows one's thoughts to go wherever they want while your body does its fairly repetitive activity requiring a minimal amount of mindfulness. I consider it like Tuvan throat singing (find info here), where the singers somehow emit two notes at at same time. My body does one thing, my brain (other than making sure I don't run into traffic) another. I cannot throat sing.
Here's the rough trajectory my brain took as I ran all ten miles the doctor ordered:
I head out into the 24 degree wind, uphill. Remind myself why I'm doing this Marathon for Shaira and everyone else in need of an ear in a time of crisis. How fortunate I am to be able to run like I do - some people would commit crimes to be able to run like this. Ok, it's not so cold out.
None of the miles Team Samaritans run will bring anyone back, I get that, but at least two good things result: the money we raise will make sure that Samaritans will be there for the next person who needs. That's one good thing. This hill isn't so imposing. The other good thing? Keeping the memories of those we run in honor of front and center.
I take it back about the two things. I wasn't expecting the third set of good things happening after I committed to run this race. I get to experience an enormous amount of support from everyone who sponsors me, asks me how training is going, asks me how to donate, offers to run with me, tells me where they plan to cheer us on.
I am so blessed. And grateful. And humbled.
And old, which brings on the other half of my thought process this morning's solo run, the other reason I am doing this thing, this marathon, this running.
I recently had a short conversation with a very young grandmother whose granddaughter turned 15. "When I reached 15," she said, it was the first time I was aware of growing old. It is half of 30!" Which echoes what my next birthday has me thinking (it is not a round number), that it is half of an absurdly big number. It's time to take all that public health aging stuff seriously. I'm pretty healthy, but not perfect. I'm hoping really hard that the physical challenges I put my body into will help me live healthier for longer....
Thinking of 15 put this song in my head. Hmm. How old was Al Stewart when he recorded that song? Probably half the age I am now. Oh, I bet the internet will know - and because the internet will know, and because I am going to figure it out, it is what I will leave you with.
Also, I will leave you with the suggestion that I might be convinced to do a stand up comedy set at a fundraising party I'm planning for the middle of March. Bring your phones and set them to record!
Time Passages album released 1978 (alstewart.com); Al Stewart born 1945 (wikipedia). 1978-1945 = ok, not half my age now but pretty damn young. And I am older than I look, people. Besides. What would a 33 year old singer songwriter have to be nostalgic about??
I wonder whether I would look older if I stopped running or younger. Which finishes my blog post, and my ten mile run.