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Perspective (the musical edition)

As some of you know, I have been completely out of the running game for over 2 1/2 weeks with a bad bout of pneumonia. It was terrible. I laid on the couch for 10 days, drinking honey, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper and watching more TV than I usually do in a year. My kids somehow survived.

That step away for two weeks offered a new perspective. I had a similar experience with perspective for climbing after tearing ligaments in my ankle on a bad bouldering fall, which resulted in no climbing for 4 weeks. I would sit on the rowing machine for hours trying to condition my upper body and cardiovascular system. I'd spend even more time at the bouldering gym, sitting in the chairs, watching other climbers. All that time spent observing technique, listening to my body, and re-evaluating what I wanted and how to do it enabled me to come back climbing harder projects than I did before my injury, despite my atrophied muscles.

While I don't anticipate magically running 5 minute miles right now, I do enjoy the new view I've had from simply observing the world of trail running for the last few weeks of no participation.

...and when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me....

First, there's the acceptance. You can't run with pneumonia. I was so sick I could hardly move, breathe, or get my heart rate (which is usually around 40) under 85. There was no danger of me pushing too hard, I couldn't get up to even try. I had to accept it and get over it. (As Indy would say, "Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it!") It's ok that I was sick. It's ok that I watched every single Salomon trail running video made, zoned out with a bunch of bulgarian running videos that didn't even have english subtitles, dug through the archives of irunfar, and bored myself with original episodes of the trail running podcasts. (all between episodes of PBS and feeding my boys apples, bacon, carrots, and peanuts... the only edible things left in the house).

"...may your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground..."

I spent a lot of time wondering why I was "wasting" so much time thinking about a sport I couldn't do. I couldn't help it. I can't help but to explore, to push limits, to separate pain from experience and do nothing but focus. I should blame my navigational disability on my ability to focus on the moment. I think I could pass that off, whether or not it's true.

...don't underestimate the things that I will do/ there's a fire starting in my heart...

My goals are now more outlined. The places I want to go, the mountains I want to explore, the long trails I want to run, the memories I want to make--these things are all more defined now. Determination to succeed, to push, to feel, to be... all the more engraved in me. The abilities I want to push.... I have decades of youth, vigor, and exploration in me. I am so grateful to have fallen in love with a sport that ages so gently while at such a young age.

So lastly, here I am. Did 3 weeks of no training put a damper on things? Sure. I drank about a gallon of honey (I don't do cough syrups or other OTC remedies) and I have a couple extra pounds of belly fat to show for it. Does it matter? Will it hinder my performance?

...oh, she got her head in the clouds/ and she's not backing down...
...looks like a girl but she's a flame...

No. The weeks off gave me perspective. I'm not chasing dreams undecided on what I want. I'm not logging miles and hours just to log them.

Next week training begins. Watch out.


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