July 28, 2016


Sunset over the Puget Sound
July and August have some big important days for me.

You know, big, important days, if you think that the random recurrence of the same calendar day roughly marking the same spot in the solar system that the earth was in the last time the big important thing happened was is important. Which, frankly, I don't.

But I do think stopping to pause and be observant and appreciative and full of gratitude and memories of things that matters is important. And, I'm a sucker for superstitions and symbolism, so I go all in for the anniversaries of things even though deep down I know that they don't matter.

Anyways, I had one of those days this week. And I got up to have coffee, clear my email, and then go for a solo run in Seattle, the current base of my nomad life on this year of adventure. I'd mapped out a route, and started a podcast, but I had no real pace goals since I'd done 5+ blissful Greenlake miles the day before with one of my former Seattle running buddies (man, that awesome chatty solve-the-world's problems run, coupled with the Din Tai Fung with friends the night before really made me miss living here).

Guess what? Immediately upon leaving our AirBNB, I realized I was *slow*. And yet, I really didn't care. I just wanted to enjoy the miles.

Thankfully, "hot" in Seattle isn't, at least to a bay-arean who ran a few days in the Sacramento valley on her way here.  But, the park I'd mapped for the middle mile was *super* steep, requiring over 100 not-so-regular stairs (walked) down to enter and then very steep downhill trails filled with dogs (some off-leash), for whom I stopped whenever it appeared that my running by could cause some chaos (pretty much every dog).

The goal was 3 miles, and at 1.5 miles I realized the views I'd been hoping to see would not be materializing any time soon. But it was still gorgeous.

Between the trees, you can see some small views...
So, I took a photo and turned around. I hike/jogged my way back out of the park. I jogged the remainder of the way back home. My sister called just as I hit 3 miles and I loved hearing her voice (so close to my own) and even more loved listening to the adorable enthusiasm of my niece and nephew filling me in on the toddler/child details they thought were important to share on this call commemorating the anniversary of big important things.

It was such a great run.

I just checked the Garmin stats: 15:03/mile average pace, 327 feet of elevation gain (and loss).

Nothing impressive.

In fact, if I was measuring solely on pace and performance, disappointing. But it was something wonderful.  Even subtracting the call from my sis ('cause that would have happened no matter what I was doing), it still gave me access to views of this beautiful planet I wouldn't have otherwise had. And, it let me work out some of the butterflies before a professional webinar I had to present at an hour and half after I returned, allowing me to be more calm, collected, and useful to the folks who'd paid to hear me speak.

All of this is a long way of saying that I am so grateful that today, running for me is just a joyful thing that I can enjoy (most of the time) regardless of how *well* I do.

In an interesting coincidence, in my online meanderings today, I encountered two of my favorite online people posting things that made me feel communion with them as they encountered somewhat (at least it seemed like to me) similar interactions with their own physical experiences:

Lauren Fleshman on the transition from Professional Racer to who she will be next


Havi Brooks' rambling post on why she quit teaching yoga, and then teaching, and then speaking (for the most part)  

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