If ever there were a week that I'm really glad to be a runner, this has been it. I won't bore you with the details, and will let it simply suffice to report that one of my oldest, dearest friends is moving away today (clear across the country), one of my favorite employees is working her last week with us (because she is moving, clear across the country), and I have had an epically difficult week of work, leading me to some profound self-doubt. Oh, and I have been sick. Really sick. So sick that I was unable to run for 11 days, just as I was beginning the taper in preparation for my next marathon, which is on Saturday June 22nd. So it's been a week of goodbyes. Goodbye to a friend who has been an integral part of my day-to-day life for 17 years, goodbye to a wonderfully talented and spirited colleague, and - after a very difficult training season topped off by nearly two weeks with minimal running - goodbye to my hope that I would be ready to qualify for the 2014 Boston Marathon next week. I went to bed last night with a heavy heart, and woke up tearful and feeling fairly unglued. Fortunately, however, I also woke up today finally free of the chest congestion, ready to head outside and get in a few slow miles, and work it out.
I'm lucky to have one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. (according to me) right outside my door, and within a few minutes found myself - literally and figuratively - in the heart of Balboa Park. Although I was fatigued, it felt marvelous to move like a runner again, breathe deeply, and reflect on the sadness of the week. I didn't try to shake it off, but let myself feel the sadness, and by the end of my first mile, the tears were flowing. After several minutes of this physical and emotional release, my pace and my thoughts slowed down, and I began to giggle to myself as I imagined what a mess I must have looked like. And in that very moment, the ground beneath my feet spoke up:
I'm grateful for the timing of the universe today, reminding me in the nick of time through today's run that a blubbering physical wreck, a sad sack who is bad with goodbyes, and a lost soul stumbling on a rocky career path is just sort of who I need to be right now. I'm wonderful just the way I am. And however you're feeling today: so are you.