Thursday, November 20, 2014

Exercising Freedom

Good morning 50x50 readers. I'm here to redeem myself and get rid of my award for being the biggest slacker blogger ever. Life has been very hectic here on the home front since the September race in Utah, and as such, my blogging has taken a back seat. My apologies for stepping away from the keyboard for so long. Here is the post I wanted to compose last Tuesday on Election Day.
I always look forward to my Election Day run. My polling location is conveniently situated on one of my regular running routes, so my tradition is to run to vote. Doing this always makes me feel so empowered; not only am I exercising my voice as a citizen, I am also freely exercising! I love that! The greatness of this really impacts me on Election Day, and I feel so energized post-vote and post-run. One of the wonderful things about running is allowing your brain to wander while you plug away at the miles. Many times as I run, I think about just how fortunate I am to be out there...enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, feeling physically strong, listening to my breathing, not having to worry about the many restrictions that citizens of other nations deal with everyday. I love looking up in to the bright blue sky, watching for seasonal changes to the scenery I pass, waving to the regular folks I see as I run around. It is all so good.
That brings me to another fun story to share. Last week I was working on a semi-long run (10 miler), and as I reached my turn around point, a garbage truck was just turning the corner, set to continue along in my direction. I caught the eye of the driver as I turned around, and looked at him as if to ask, "Wanna race?" I started to sprint briefly along side him, and we both shared a good laugh as he drove along up the street. Fast-forward a mile and a half later, he was coming down a side street as I passed along on the main road, and I gave him a victorious, "I beat you" arm punch in the air as I ran by him. It was really funny, and gave me a kick as I finished up my route. I happened to see the same driver in the garbage truck on Saturday as I ran, and he gave be a beep and a wave. I love seeing my "regulars" out on the streets. Distractions are good while distance running.
So all that said, my next half is right around the corner...less than two weeks until the Route 66 Half in Tulsa, OK. I have to confess, this being my 7th half this year was a bit ambitious for me, and I'm getting tired. I know I will certainly finish this race, but for the first time in my state race training, I didn't log a 12-13 mile run prior to the race. I did a 10 miler, which is fine, but I am nursing a tired right hamstring and glute, and I just didn't want to push it too much. My taper just started a little earlier than normal, that's all, and even then, I'm still good to throw a substantial 7 miler in to the mix before the actual race.
Route 66 will be a special one. My cousin Andrew is running with me, which I'm excited about. We haven't run together since June when we did the Covered Bridges Half in VT. He scored an amazing PR there, so I'm sure he's gunning to better that. I just want to finish OK in under two hours without any injury. That's my goal this time. Then I get to rest for December and January. No races on the calendar for me just yet in 2015, but I have lots of ideas swirling in my head.
Back to Route 66...the race, of course, takes place on the iconic stretch of road, and each year the race directors fashion the finisher's medal after a 50's inspired car hood ornament. This year's medal will honor the Cadillac. Not too shabby! I wrote Andrew after I read about the Cadillac medals to tell him. His grandfather, Bill, passed away a few years ago. He was a very special man to all of us in the family. He always drove a Cadillac. So I suggested to Andrew that we dedicate this race to him. He enthusiastically agreed. When I told my mom about this, she reminded me that my grandfather, Charles (her dad), also always drove a Cadillac. So of course, this race will honor both of our grandfathers! I love that! I will have them both in my thoughts as I make my way "on the road" in Tulsa. Can't wait!

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