Thursday, August 20, 2009

Big Miles and Big News

Last Sunday I ran 20 miles. It's so far! My legs ached, but my muscles were not sore afterwards. I take that as a normal sign. Feeling great now. 23 miles this Sunday or next.

But I digress. I am now running this marathon solo. Madeline dropped out because of knee problems and school. Alicia was really into it, very excited to be doing the marathon. She happens to be a naturally gifted distance runner!

Turns out, she is also going to be a naturally gifted mother! Alicia and Stewart are expecting their first child in March.

The business of growing cells and making an extra cute baby is hard work! It's exhausting for her, and she is not always feeling well. Marathon training is not in the picture for her right now.

She hopes to try for the marathon again in the future, but will have to figure out how to make that happen in a year or two.

I could not possibly be upset that I am running alone because this joyous news is so wonderful and exciting, it over shadows everything else.

Congratulations Alica and Stewart!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Run Oregon

I love Oregon. I love everything about it. I like the way that it smells of fresh dirt, hundreds of trees, flowers, moss, and mold.

I love that it gives me a feeling. You know how when you read a wonderful fiction novel, or watch a fun fiction movie, and you feel this sense of "magic," wishing that a certain place or thing you're momentarily wrapped up in really existed? Well, Oregon is like that...only it really exists! Every day that I'm here, I feel like I'm right in the middle of some magical (YES, I like to use that word, no, I'm not referring to wizards and fairies), place that seems too wonderful to exist, but does so anyway.

So, imagine my delight to tread the Oregon earth, and take in all the sights, sounds, smells and feelings on my runs! It is delightful.

Running in the desert was getting way too hard for me. Early morning runs were still beautiful, but the desert is intense; and as much as I wish I was an intense person, I'm not. Spicy hot food? Yes! Spicy hot climate? Not on a regular basis.

I'll be running here for a month, and hopefully catching up! I got far behind. I still believe in myself; I still believe in the cause I'm running for, and I still believe in running! And now, I believe that running in Oregon will be a month-long gift to myself. Thank you, self.

Today I ran approximately 7 miles, running up and down each row of the Filbert orchard. Lots of organic soil under my feet, huge, moss-covered Filbert trees in every direction, and sun peeping through the leaves and the corridors created by them. Lots of shade, lots of earthiness. It was nice. It felt almost like being inside the hallways of a very sacred building. Only here, the ceiling was made of leaves, barrel-vaulted by branches, held up by columns that are carved in natural shapes, covered in a mural of green; and the floor is slightly untidy...covered in dirt, and fallen nuts. Very sacred indeed.

I can't wait to experience even more of the Oregon surroundings on my runs. Running in this environment may be so enjoyable in and of itself, that I'll rack up miles without even noticing!

P.S. This place is crawling with peacocks! They're everywhere. I like to play a game with myself where I see how many feathers I can spot when I'm walking or running about. I'm still getting used to their call sounds so much like some kind of cat from outer space, that I just about crawl out of my skin every time I hear it! I suppose it helps to keep the runs interesting!