Monday, May 12, 2014

The List

5ish years ago (2009), after off-and-on running since middle school, I decided that I wanted to run a marathon. Never mind the fact that I had never raced anything further than a 3200m. I got the idea, I trained until I knew I could succeed, and I accomplished my dream in just over 4 hours.

If you asked me at mile 18 if I'd ever run a marathon again, I would have punched you in the face.

But euphoria and endorphins are tricky. I found myself going after a sub-4 just 4 months later.

The slope wasn't slippery at first. I ran a marathon everything spring until 2013 (base training kept me honest, training kept me interested) and then I got the cockamamie idea to go after a BQ.

I still cannot put into words the feeling I had when I saw the time clock at the finish line in Rehoboth. Magical.

I am still riding high when I put myself back in that finish corral.

But time waned and I grew antsy. I needed a new challenge. Marathon Maniacs seemed like a doable challenge. So.... I signed up for a few marathons this spring and hoped my body survived. It's kind of addicting....
But I'm enjoying it. The accomplishment is sincere, tough, and big enough to satisfy my whims.

I am currently in la-la land though. No races to train for, no big dreams to tackle (currently), and just happy memories to satisfy my running heart. I'll run HTC in August, go for a PR in the fall/winter (sub 3:30??!) at Marshall or Rehoboth, and look to toe the line in Boston in April 2015.

But for now I'm spending a little time dreaming big on The List.

I started keeping a notebook in my car about 2 years ago when I was miserable at work and had a commute that sometimes was upwards of 75 minutes. I had a lot of time to contemplate life and plenty of stop and go traffic to scribble an idea. I used it to write down my entrepreneurial ideas, favorite memories, and grow my bucket list. I took it out of the car recently to work on it while hanging out on the trampoline:
And drink a beer at sunset. 'Cause life is better that way.

I've been rich with so many experiences already in my life and have noted many in my book (The dream list is different than the experience list). Mainly to remember that when I've had a tough day at work or the dog threw up all the bed for the second time in the night, that I have so, so, so much to be thankful for. Not only have I never worried about my basic needs (food, water, shelter), but I've been extraordinarily lucky to experience a lot of fantastic things.

At the risk of sounding braggart... I'll list a few:

-Biking down Mount Haleakala volcano at sunrise in Maui with my father and sister

-Graduating with an associate's degree before I graduated high school

-Kissing atop the Eiffel Tower with my future husband

-Fishing for piranhas in the Amazon river

-Camping with my mom and sister in the Grand Canyon

-Riding the tilt-a-whirl with my grandma at the county fair. Her "wheee" is now the ultimate measure of happiness.

-Hiking down the Rock of Gibraltar (my FB cover photo) with Adam on our honeymoon

-Eating an apple from a tree I planted in my own backyard

-Scuba-diving the second largest barrier reef in the world in Honduras

You get the idea, right? I'm a lucky broad.

But I'll never stop wanting to enjoy all the pleasures of life. I have no idea the number of things I will cross off on the list, but I will keep adding to it as ideas pop into my mind. The idea is to just keep dreaming and experiencing what I can.
It doesn't matter how far-fetched it seems, I put it on there. Who's to say it will never happen? I will keep adding to the list and make the most of every opportunity. I don't call it a bucket list per say. Because I'm not addicted to completing it before I die--it's just things I think would be awesome to experience. 

The same is true with running. I'll never know where this road will take me. Dreaming big is fun. I want to run Boston, I wanted to run a marathon in all 50 states, I want to run as long as my legs let me. The sign I saw at the Pig, "Run for those who can't" really resonated with me--I only get one chance at this life.

I should spend it doing things that make me happy because I can.

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