Sometimes, life hands you exactly what you need. And what I needed, it turns out, was two hours in a porch swing with a book and a blanket after having run 13.1 miles with six of the best BAMRs ever.
But let me back up.
When last we spoke, I was in Scotland on a family vacation. I ran for exactly zero minutes while in the U.K. While I had the intellectual desire, my body just did not want to. The jet lag really kicked my heiner this time — I’m told it is because I’m getting older but I’ve decided to live in denial on that one — and I never felt quite right. I’ve also been dealing with some general tummy troubles — the details of which no one wants to hear, especially while eating.
So far, my armchair diagnosis has ranged from late-onset lactose intolerance to an ulcer to gall stones to your more exotic cancers. Yes, I’m going to a doctor tomorrow.
After we got back, I managed about six easy miles. Not six all at once, mind. Then it was time to repack and head to Florida for the Seaside School Half Marathon, after I made a small stop in Orlando to visit my Mom.
Because of my relationship with Voldesun (spoiler alert: I hates it), I’ve never been a big beach person. If I must beach, I tend to gravitate towards those with boulders and crashing, cold water. This whole white sand and tranquil blue is not really my bliss. However, when there are BAMRs involved, I’m easy to persuade. For the record, Seaside is perfectly lovely. Standing in sugar sand while your husband is texting about the 20” of snow that fell at home overnight is, in fact, priceless.
The weekend exists in its own little bubble of wonderful, one that I’ll keep tucked near my heart for those moments that are less than wonderful. Saturday morning was filled with a long, rambling conversation about imposter syndrome and complicated mothers while we ate home-baked scones. Lisa, the Scone-ista, brought her own special scone whisk. Heidi made Shalane and Elyse’s lasagna, which I couldn’t stop shoving in my face. We all took turns with the clean-up and the random errands that pop up, like a mid-afternoon tampon run.
After the race, the majority of the crew schlepped to the beach, which I lacked the oomph to accomplish. The trans-Atlantic travel, coupled with the nearly seven hour drive from Orlando to Seaside (traffic was terrible), finally caught up with me. I took to the porch swing, read for a bit, napped for a bit, then repeated the cycle. It was absolutely what I needed. I am a lucky, lucky woman.
As for the race itself, it was perfectly fine. The course is an out-and-back down 30A, which parallels, mostly, the Gulf. It had a hill or two but nothing crazy, if you are used to running in a place with any topography. The weather was kind and stayed in the 50s for most of my 13.1 miles. I found it too sunny but, again, I have issues.
At the end of the race — I ran across the finish line with a friend I don’t see nearly enough — I was handed a medal, a Vera Bradley bag, and a chicken and biscuit sandwich. Would that all runs ended like that.
Did I win my age group? Was it one of my slowest half-marathons ever? Did I enjoy the heck out of the race anyway? Another spoiler alert: nope, yup, and, indeed.
Then, at 3 a.m. I drove to the airport and flew home. Boy, are my arms tired … from scraping the ice off of my windshield after I landed in Albany. It’s helpful to know that it is warm somewhere, though, even if it isn’t where you are.
Lisa and I will see each other again soon for the Seneca Seven, which is a relay race around Seneca Lake at the end of April. Before that, I’ll running the Cherry Blossom Ten-miler in D.C. It’s a bucket list race for me and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Any BAMRs want to come to a low-key meet-up before the Blossom? I can’t promise it will have all of the good vibes of a beach weekend but I might have some swag….
Question of the week: do you have any running-related moments that you flash back to when life gets bumpy?