Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Turn, turn, turn

I have almost no routine in my life. I don't have a favorite thing to eat for breakfast, and have something different every morning. I walk my dog 2-3 times daily, and never take the same route twice. Brush then floss? Floss then brush? Either way is cool with me. Contrary to all sound medical advice, I've never been able to fall into a normal pattern of sleep. Although I consistently get between 7.5 - 8.5 hours a night (like Ralph Wiggum, sleep is where I'm a Viking), I can easily go to bed anywhere between 9:00 pm and midnight, and get up between 5:00 - 8:00 am, and then do it all completely differently the next day without feeling screwed up. Unlike most individuals I know (including the husband and dog with whom I share my little piece of the world), I take no comfort in ritual or routine, although I try to honor others' need for it. After years of trying in vain to create structure around myself, I'm learning to embrace this feature of my personality and see the gifts in it.

That's not to say that I don't appreciate and enjoy the familiar. I'm beyond grateful to wake up every morning to my husband's same adorable face, and to come home in the evenings to my same silly dog. I love my old "home trails" along the American River, and feel comfortable and secure when I'm running among those old sights and smells. And now just a little over a week into training for my fifteenth marathon, I am realizing how much joy I take in this process, a perfect blend of the known and the unknown. I can't yet anticipate how my race in June is going to turn out, how much faster or stronger I'll get in the coming weeks, or where I'll discover a new favorite long training run. But there is a lot that I do know to expect. Now eight days in, I'm remembering the subtle ways I need to adapt my life to accommodate marathon training, and enjoying that familiar afternoon daze after a good long run.

Perhaps also because I live in a place that doesn't have much in the way of seasons, I'm no longer a student living on a fall-to-spring calendar, and I don't work in an industry that has any sort of a "peak season" during the year, I deeply appreciate the seasonal nature of of marathon training. Sixteen weeks of training, the excitement of race week, and then a full month of rest and recovery. This is about as much of a pattern as I can expect to find anywhere in my life, and I embrace it with open arms, and tired legs.


  1. You deserve your own column in Runner's World! I feel like I need to grab a cup of coffee and make myself comfortable to fully enjoy your posts.

    I am so excited to follow along with your training and I sincerely hope we can do a long run together at least once. :)

    1. I don't see it happening any time soon, but thanks for a few minutes of a great fantasy! I've got the cup of coffee part down pat, though.

      Sending my long run schedule now ...