Thursday, November 1, 2012

Where is my Speed?

I have been looking everywhere for my speed. Let me clarify right now that I am about as straight edge as they come, so what I am referring to has nothing to do with illicit substances. I am desperately searching my fast pace. Where is it?

I tried to find it in Anaheim recently. With an hour a day for lunch break during a week of meetings, I would dash up to my hotel room, change and hit the streets around Disneyland. Of course, the stoplights proved challenging (city running, ugh!). Also, it was hot, by my far north coast standards. Also, there was almost a constant stream of second hand smoke. Everyone seems to smoke in Anaheim. Excuses abound.

I surely was not going to find it on my run last weekend along the Pacific Crest Trail. This is not a terrain for speed. Switch backs, steep, vertigo-inducing drop offs, 17% grades to climb. Oh, and did I mention my issues with heat?

I looked for it yesterday, but it was not to be found on the steep trails of my forest. It showed me a faint glimpse of itself on the downhill of Fickle Hill Rd, but downhills don't really count. It was like a shadowy presence at the marsh, sometimes in plain view but quickly disappearing when I turned a corner to find 25 mph winds pushing into my face.

Speed Shadow, Marsh, 10/31/12

I strongly dislike whining, and therefore should by all rights delete everything I just wrote. Last night, in between shoveling candy into the hands and pillow cases of other people's children, I was chatting with my oldest kid, also a runner. I told her, "I cannot seem to find my speed." Says she: "Its OK Mom. Plus, you are training for a 50 mile run so endurance is really important right now." This is the same kid who shouted at me as I whizzed past her when we were out biking (she was about 8 years old at the time),  "Remember Mommy! Slow and steady wins the race!"

This is also the kid who could whoop my butt in a road race right at the moment.

Running is my meditation, so speed does not matter.
Running is for my health, so speed does not matter.
Running allows me to gaze upon beauty, to smell the eucalyptus after the rain, to greet my fellow humans without the ton of automobile steel encasing me, to feel my heart strongly pumping and to find bliss in a cold glass of chocolate milk at the end of a hard workout.

It lets me see stuff like this:
Marsh Run, 10/31/12

Still. I want my speed back. 

Where is it?????

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