Monday, December 26, 2016

Running in the Dark

When I first started running, I was so embarrassed I'd walk when cars passed me. I'd pretend I was looking at the flowers! - Joan Benoit Samuelson

This past February had a crazy gorgeous Saturday - sunny, 72 degrees (yes, really - here in central Indiana!), and people came out in droves!  People walking, running, pushing strollers, pulling wagons, bicycling, and walking dogs.

The paved trail across the street was jammed with cyclists and pedestrians of  all sorts.  All.  Day.  Long.  UGH.

I'm one of those crazy antisocial runners.  I don't want all those other people to look at me.  I've been running for years, and I STILL have this thing about not wanting to be noticed running.

This makes it difficult to enter races, even for fun.  All those other people there - staring at me!  Of course they're not.  I know that.  But knowing it in my head and knowing it in my gut are two different things.  All those eyes.  Watching.  Me.  UGH.  It's nearly intolerable.

Anyway.  That Saturday.  Not only was it a beautiful day, but it was also a gorgeous night with clear skies and a full moon.  How did I know?

I like to run at night when nobody else is out.  I run where there are street lights, so light isn't an issue, but moonlight makes it intensely different.  The light is bright and silvery, not just a sickly yellow mercury vapor circle surrounding each light post.  The shadows are sharply defined.  The world is quiet and still - perfect for introspection, meditation, list-making, or zoning out.

I've joined a running group, but I've only run with them once.  It's a small group, and I like them fine, but it's a running GROUP, and I just don't know that I can do that. 

And on top of all that, I've had a flare up of plantar fasciitis, so my mileage is down (oh, all right - non-existent), and I'm not really feeling like much of a runner.

So now I'm kind of running in the dark, trying to figure out how to get back to it - "it" being strength and stamina and confidence. I signed up for my usual spring half marathon, and serious training begins in less than a week. 

I'd better get with it!

This may be a case of fake it until you make it.
I'll just have to act like a runner until I believe again.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Beach, Rockets, and a Lesson Learned

I spent the first week of December in Cocoa Beach, a paradise of beaches and rockets.
The first thing I saw climbing the wooden steps to cross the dunes was a squadron of brown pelicans gliding in stately formation overhead.  Before the glint of sun on waves, before the rainbow beach umbrellas, before the red flag at the lifeguard's chair, those prehistoric-looking birds.

From anywhere along the beaches you can see the launch platforms - sometimes painfully bright and hard-edged in the sun, sometimes nearly lost in a gray haze, but always There.

I always check launch schedules before I head to Florida, and I checked the schedules the week before.  There was nothing planned until the week after I would be there, so I didn't bother checking again.


The launch scheduled for the following week was moved UP, and I MISSED IT. Ugh.

So I've learned my lesson.  Always, always ALWAYS check the launch schedules!