Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Random racing ruminations: Week 14, Solitude

(4.0 mile run)
Temperature 50 degrees
Mile 1 = 9:58
Mile 2 = 9:48
Mile 3 = 9:07
Mile 4 = 8:56 

Today's run officially kicked off my third week of training for the Lincoln Half-Marathon. As I was packing my running gear before I left for work this morning, I had the vaguest feeling that I was forgetting something important. The notion that I know I'm missing something I need, but not being able to locate what that thing is, probably ranks highest on my most annoying list of what is happening to me as I get older. How is it that my brain can know hey, Todd, don't you think there is something else? but when I run through the list in my mind in order to recall the missing memory my brain is like nope, maybe that is everything because even though you feel like you are without something important you must really have everything. The most infuriating piece of all of this: the feeling is 99% correct every time. It means I'm missing something.

As I was unpacking and changing in to my running clothes, I confirmed that my odd feeling of forgetfulness was spot on once again. I didn't pack ear buds for my phone.

The temperature was 50 degrees, the sun was welcoming, and I didn't need the hat and gloves I had packed just like I probably didn't need my ear buds.

My determination today was to run entirely around the lake and today was perfect. It was more like spring than winter in January. Running without my music, pace, and time updates in my ear was a welcome change in routine, leading me to think about solitude.

Rustling leaves scraped their way along the pavement and made their way to piles on the opposite side of the trail and drew me into my surroundings.

A constant hum of vehicles racing east and west on Interstate 80 not far from the trail combined the beauty of nature with civilization.

I heard the replies of people on the trail as I waved and said hi. Generally I only read the responses of their body language because of my music pushing me on.

A plane soared overhead.

A few birds circled the lake that wanted to be frozen solid, yet the ice was pushing the way back to waves.

Diesel engines idled at the truck stop, their sounds like fumes floating down the hill, across the lake, and faintly reaching my senses, drifting in and out of the wind, becoming the background for what is usually in my ears.

This peacefulness of solitude made me long for more of it. This run felt different. I was no longer focused on the next interval update; rather I centered on my own breathing, how my body felt, and how one I was with my surroundings. Much of my life is focused on the opposite of solitude. My reminders on my computer pull me from thought to thought, communication to communication, task to task, making me feel tarried, incomplete, and unfocused. I'm drawn to flipping through apps on my phone when I should put it aside to focus on doing something productive and beneficial.

I wondered if I should be running more without technology. Maybe less technology in life would be better too.

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