August 10, 2011

Everything But...

I recently opened an e-mail from a running friend who asked, "HOW are you and WHERE have you been?!" It prompted me to post;  I am touched he noticed my absence from that "scene."
 While landscape painting, 
I spotted this frog resting on a hydrangea leaf. 

This summer's been filled with nearly everything BUT regular running. Exercise-wise I've biked, hiked, power-wogged, paddled, swam, and run a tad (despite a bum hip).  I volunteered at the June MS Cape Cod Getaway, camped, gardened, visited friends and relatives, and painted (ceilings and canvases). My days are full.
Pine trees are difficult to paint, so many needles.
(Conifer, alla prima en plein air o/c, 5 x 7, 8/11)
Jolly Green Giants.
 After VT 100, Steve L asked me if I was done (or something like that) with the ultra distance. No, I'm not done—just taking a break. There's a difference between quitting, stopping and even pausing. My "pause" started with a Doctor's "required time-out" and is now more of a spiritual choice to seek balance and foster renewal. Trail running —at any distance (but the longer the better)—brings me joy and I will return to it soon, very soon. I needed a break from its many facets, so I took one. Meanwhile I am cultivating other interests—and responsibilities. One of which is cleaning out my folks' attic and helping them relocate after 35 years.
The pull-down ladder in the garage ceiling that I used to EMPTY the attic, box-by-box. If it wasn't nailed down, I took it down.
Thirty-five years of accumulation in three days.
No, we can't take it with us.
I enjoy the 50k distance, especially when there is no time-cut-off stress. While I believe my body and mind could finish a 50 mile (still smiling) and perhaps a 100k (more poker-faced), I will "pick races my own size" for the time-being. For the longer stuff I'm delighted to help pace/crew/volunteer. Helping others achieve their goal(s), any way I can, brings me joy.
 My Cucumbkles. 
How did we all end up here? 

When I see someone running (or racing), I am reminded of how fortunate they are to be out there and capable of doing whatever they are doing—at any distance or speed. I am refreshed to know I am a part of something larger than my purview. I try to be present, have grace, and not take anything for granted. An instant can change everything.
 Blueberries picked by kayak!
This Saturday are Trail Animals Running Club's summer 6- and 12-hour events. I originally signed up for the 6 hour but switched to the 12 hour; I will need that extra time to enjoy what I hope is a long, slow and happy walk. My plan is to "carry on" for as long as my hip and ankle hold strong. If I feel like running a little or some, I will honor that, too. This event is about follow through, respect, sharing time with friends, and basically rekindling a love for "the scene."