After feeling heavy and deadened all summer by the oppressive heat and humidity, the cool air is a blessed respite. This fall is nothing like I’ve ever known before, and that’s okay. It’s a study in contrast. Autumns past were spent in Maine where I was surrounded by tall trees displaying fall in all it’s glory. Now I’m surrounded by tall buildings that somewhat mask the turn of the season. But it’s here none the less.
This isn't me. I chose this photo because I find it inspiring!
It’s finally cool enough to run outdoors again and I love it. Call me what you will, but I have never had any love of summer and the intense heat and sun. Give me cool, crisp, and early evenings any day. It’s in the fall when I feel most mentally alert, creative, and like I could run forever, and sometimes I do (mentally). In honor of and by inspiration of this cool weather, I signed up for my first road race since my very first one I ran with Amy in the spring of 2008. I’m running a 5k on Samhain (Halloween) at 10 am in Newton. This time I won’t have Amy by my side coaching me on pace and mental toughness and grabbing my arm when I start to flag. Though she won’t be there in person, she’s always been there in spirit. Since running with her all that spring and summer back in 2008, her voice has been in my head coaching me and pushing me on even when the only person on the road is me.
I’m excited for this road race. And a little nervous. It’s the first one I’ve run alone. Second ever. But that’s okay. My intention with this race is to break the ice and set a baseline from which to improve my performance. I set a goal when I registered for the race to run one race, even if it’s just a 5k, every month for the next year. Why? Three main reasons.
Reason One: I give myself too many excuses to slack off with running and other things I love to do. Committing to a race a month will trigger my competitive nature that has been dormant. I’ll want to be stronger, faster, better each race.
Reason Two: I haven’t kicked the unhealthy thoughts and habits with food yet. I’ll do well with eating healthy foods for a few days then I’ll go back to not eating at all. I’ve always struggled with food and body image. With committing to such a rigorous race schedule and continuous training, I’ll have no choice but to eat and to eat healthfully. The idea is to, over time, lay down new thought patterns with eating: eating as a source of energy and strength instead of eating as a source of anxiety and misery.
Reason Three: I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and you’ve got to put in the steady miles and build up bone and muscle strength to do it.
So, that’s one of the things I’ve been up to.
Here we are on Beltane! I love this picture of us.
Gabe and I have been together for over a year now. We never really figured out exactly when we started dating though we peg it at the night he got rear ended exiting route 1. I had a tough day that day and called him late in the evening to ask if he’d like to go on a walk with me only to find that his car got crunched. He could have begged off, but he didn’t. We met up at the Samantha statue out front of Gulu Gulu Cafe in Salem and walked for hours. That was sometime in June, I think. He invited me to attend a college club reunion with him. We both thought of it as a bit of a date, but the topic didn’t pop up formally until a few weeks later. We formalized our dating, again, no idea what day, over dinner at Century House. We both realized that we were something more than friends and we had a fun summer dating and adventuring. Then late summer came and with all the various things going on at that time — finalizing the divorce, still seeking a job, and getting some troubling medical news — I needed time to think and reevaluate my life. So I backed off and we stopped seeing each other so I could sort things out. After about a week, I realized that I was right were I wanted to be: in Salem, dating Gabe, trying out new avenues with my creative endeavors and with my career. I had cleared my head of the clamorous voices and was ready to start dating him again. Then Gabe got really sick and was hospitalized for a few weeks. By the time I saw him again, this time last year, it had been seven weeks. Pinpointing exactly where the year mark would land is tough, but it’s been over a year now. And we’ve been living together for just under two months. And it’s been wonderful.
Can I just say that moving to Massachusetts was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made? I reconnected with some old college friends, met new people that enrich my life, and started dating the person I don’t want to live without.
(Also, thank goddess Mercury is direct again! Phew.)