Off the Grid.

This weekend, Owen, Jeff and I we’re heading up to Lake Winnepesaukee with my inlaws, sister and brother-in-law, and niece and nephew.

A full week spent in teeny cabins right on the lake, beach two steps outside our door. Without internet access (thought Jeff and I both have smartphones. I’ll never really disconnect, who am I kidding?).

But whatever, NO internet access!

I have a loose plan to stick with my half training: 26 miles next week. I’m hoping to actually do the speed workout on Tuesday night if I can manage to find the local high school, if not, I’ll do it as best as I can on the road. (Maybe hill repeats? Ooo, that would be something.)

I am also going to try my first open water swim – am hoping to spend a half hour in the water and try and focus on sighting moreso than doing a full on workout.

And obviously, there will be ice cream. And playing in the sand. And throwing the frisbee. And splashing in the water. And a train ride. And a trip to Laconia. And ice cream. And Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

And did I mention the ice cream?

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Morning Magic (Aka: My 4 Mile Run.)

A night of insomnia; wordless dreams from which I wake often and forget nearly immediately, only to be plunged back in when I fall asleep again.

The alarm rings much too early. It’s set to the local classical music station to ease my wake up, but today it doesn’t matter. I only have the energy to slam the snooze button, hard. So, so tired. I do not want to get out of bed.

But my mind is awake. It moves restlessly; I’m focused on the number of miles I want to run this week and how I’ll juggle everything I need to get that accomplished. I won’t have another chance to run in the morning – the best time, given the heat and humidity – for another three days. When the music starts again, I turn the alarm off and get out of bed quickly, not looking back in case I’m tempted.

Once in the bathroom, I change into my running gear and put my contacts in. Within minutes I’m downstairs, sitting in the dark mudroom, lacing my sneakers.

It’s dark outside; I have yet to hear birds, but the drone of the insects is soothing somehow.

I strap on my garmin and head out; the sky near-black in front of me, but getting lighter behind. Impatiently, I wait for the watch to establish the signal with the satellites so I can start my run. When it vibrates, I start down the hill to the main road, stiffly at first.

The first few minutes of a run always feels like I’ve forgotten HOW. My legs move, but my cadence is off and I feel awkward and stiff. But I know it fades once I warm up, so instead I look around and breathe in the morning air.

This early, there are very few people up and around in my town. I run down to the river and cross the street, barely looking over my shoulder, since I hear nothing but the insects and my breath, and wave to the town cop parked across the post office. I turn and head over the bridge.

Mile 1 comes before I know it, and my legs are fully warmed up. The humidity is making me breathe a little harder than what I’d like, but I keep on, even though it is starting to hurt. I know that if I just keep going, it’ll get better.

It’s always in the beginning of mile 2 where everything settles down; my breathing is deep and regular and my legs have found a good rhythm. I find that place where there is nothing in my head except my breath.

In and out.

In and out.

In and out.

I can run forever like this. The morning, the river on my left, the insect droning. I’m warm and strong and happy and relaxed.

It, of course, doesn’t last forever. Because the rolling hills at the end of mile 2 always hurt.

I tell myself, out loud, Nice and easy to the top, then a recovery. You got this.

I don’t always believe myself, but today I actually AM able to run all the way to the top, recover downhill, and power up the second hill. I know all I have to do is make it to mile 3, which is close, and I get a good downhill for a long time, where I can really roll.

Thank god, mile 3. I take a minute to recover, and then I let my legs go, following the downhill. My breathing hitches a bit, but I focus on my exhale. Breathe OUT. Breathe OUT. I keep going.

A slight incline to the bridge again, and I’m only .25 miles away from the end of my run. That’s a 400. I can run a 400 in less than two minutes. I lean forward just a bit, pumping my arms a teeny bit more, because I want to finish this run STRONG.

And then it’s over. As I walk back to my house, I can see the sun warming the sky in front of me.

And.

I feel so good.

Just Do It.

Wow, how is it August already?

My lack of posting isn’t because I have nothing going on. On the contrary. I’ve started up my half training for the fall, after slacking a bit with my running in June and early July. It’s hard getting back into it, but I’m into week three and am feeling it come back, slowly. I’m still low on endurance, but I’m getting there.

Yesterday I had lunch with an old high school friend; someone I haven’t seen in at least 15 years, maybe more.

And over the course of our lunch, she mentioned that she wanted to write but was finding it hard to find the time.

I wholly, completely, one thousand percent identify with her.

And then we talked about how hard it is to find time, and she showed me her journal, where she keeps her ideas for writing. How she heard a perfect writing prompt in an airport one time (seriously, it’s a PERFECT prompt: someone on the loudspeaker announced: The Cowboy is down. That is inspiration for a story right there.)

We talked about how hard it is, though, to find the energy at the end of a long day to put words to paper, unless there’s a burning idea for a story. (And even then it’s nearly impossible.)

I often have stories in bullet form point – where if I just had the TIME, I could nuture the sentence or bullet into something beautiful.

Ah, but there’s no time.

Something about me: I am an accountant who probably should have never been an accountant. It was a practical choice, of course. I was driven by indecision – not knowing WHAT I really wanted to do – and coupled with a burning desire never to be out of work.

And it worked out for me – since becoming a CPA in 2003 I have never been out of work, without it being my choice.

But, by gawd, it’s soul-sucking. There are days when I feel so far removed from the girl who spent her summers writing ridiculous “novels” – wandery love stories with very little plot. (aka: girl meets boy, they fall in love, they get married and have kids. Yawn.)

I used to dream about starring in a Broadway play. I wanted to dance and sing and write and play my clarinet.

I sing in my car, and dancing has been replaced with running. I haven’t played my clarinet since I was pregnant with Owen.

And I’m currently writing about my client’s monthly deferred revenue reconciliation process.

Whee.

Thing is, I know that girl is in here somewhere. And if I could carve out just a LITTLE more time to make it happen, maybe I could find her again.

Except. My alarm rang this morning at 4:21am (so, you know, I can get a snooze in before I have to get up), and I’ve been in Boston at my client since 6. I’ll leave here at 3(ish) today so I can pick up Owen and bring him to his own race tonight – he and Jeff are running the Beverly Yankee Homecoming race at 5:30 and 6 tonight, respectively.

Then we’ll go home and I’ll figure out how to work in dinner for Jeff and I, a 4 mile run, packing for our weekend trip to Boothbay Maine, and maybe some additional work tonight, depending on my client deadline.

Where will I get the time?

Oh. Right now. On this blog.

This is writing, too.

It’s time I just DO it.

So here goes. 15 minutes a day. Here, maybe. Maybe in a journal if my thoughts are not fit for human consumption. (Yes, that happens.)

But here’s where I say this:

I want to write. And I am just going to do it.