Archive for June, 2010

Numb is Dumb

Not with writing, but definitely with the running.

I have felt so freakin’ numb and bored this week. While talking on the phone to my therapist about this numbness just a bit ago, I realized that maybe a part of it is because this has been my off week of training. Instead of running the 70+ total mileage I have been doing the past few weeks, I’m only up to 15 miles for this week as of now. Usually, I would have one of my off weeks consist of 30 miles, but this has been a really REALLY-off off week  due to the literal insanities of life…so here I am, with only 15 miles under my feet for the past 5 days. 

Ho-hum. Dumb. Numb. 


But! I’m in a fabulous mood right now because I’m running 32 miles tomorrow (which, I’m sure some of you might think is a different kind of insanity. And to you, I say pa-shaw. Get over it already). And, on this nice long run I’ll be running through a bunch of my favorite trails, instead of doing that really boring thing of running down the Lakefront Path to some absurd point, and then turning around and coming back home (all the while dodging the hordes of marathon training groups. I mean seriously people–can’t you understand that 2-abreast is the way to run in groups? Clusters of 25 joggers taking up the whole path, now that’s stupid). And, you know, the lake is pretty and all, but running for 2.5 hours while looking at it, only to turn around and see the same shit for another 2.5 hours…well, now that is really boring (not to mention mind-numbing…which can be good sometimes on a long run, but I’m in the mood for some eye-stimulus this weekend). 

So, in all of my excitement, I have also been recently informede by the (n)ever-trustworthy that there’s a 30% chance it will be thundering and lightening for the entirety of my run. That said, for anyone who personally knows me and lives in the area, if I’m not home by 2pm, then please come and find me. 

Here’s the route I’ll be running: 

What a mighty big loop that is.

And, for the extra cautious, curious, paranoid, and caring, click here  and you can zoom in on the map so you know exactly which streets I’ll be on. 

Wish me luck, and I’ll give some updates if I’m alive!


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Same plant, different soil.

I’ve been thinking about this phrase a lot lately. A few months ago I uprooted myself from Chicago, and migrated north to the town of Evanston. This town is surrounded by villages—like The Village of Wilmette, and The Village of Winnetka. I went from city life to town and village life.


The Great Northern Migration of 2010.

I thought this change would do something good for me. I thought it would take me away from all of the stressful and unhealthy distractions of city life, and help me to concentrate on what needed healing: me. 

Same plant, different soil.

The healing is still in its beginning stages. I think we can always find a way to distract ourselves, no matter what our surroundings are. It’s taken me two months to figure out that I can’t just remove a dying rosebush from one patch of earth, put it in some more fertile soil, and then expect for it to immediately become a healthy and thriving aloe plant. I can’t expect to suddenly become something that soothes. Transformations like that don’t happen overnight. Or even over two months.

When I was running this morning, I remembered how I expected for my running to become better and stronger when I moved to Evanston. I thought that because I would be closer to my gym and surrounded by more parks and a few good hills I would have less distractions that would keep me up late (and thus not helping me to wake up early enough for good, quality runs). I also thought I would be more motivated to get out there and run by Evanston’s lush landscaped residential setting instead of the city’s huge-buildings scenery. While some of this is true, I also find myself missing parts of being a city runner. I don’t miss being hit by cars that roll stop signs (although this has almost happened a few times in Evanston—I guess there are careless drivers no matter where you live), or potentially literally running into somebody I don’t want to see.

But I do miss the streets I had once claimed as mine. I moved to Chicago almost four years ago. In that time, I learned how to stretch my legs out and reach for larger running goals. I went from being a one-marathon-a-year runner, to a three-fifty-mile-races-in-one-year-as-well-as-a-few-50ks ultrarunner. This running growth spurt happened on the streets of Chicago, and sometimes my feet miss all of that pavement on which they learned how to be an ultrarunner. 

But this growing plant is in some more fertile soil, and I’m starting to nourish it in hopes of becoming a fully-grown tree. No more thorns. I’m soothing, nourishing, and starting to grow new roots that feel a bit sturdier. So I grab a hold of these new sidewalks with every footfall and breath that I have, and I take myself in a new direction. The city is still nearby—in fact I re-visit those old streets a few times a week. She’s close enough so that I can always remember where I came from (whether I want to remember that or not!), but just far enough away so that I feel transplanted in a healthy way. 

Same plant, different soil, and some freshly nourished soul/soles.

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