In the world of running there's a phenomenon known as flow; flow is when everything is going right. You are in the zone. You feel great, you keep a good pace, you have no pain, no discomforts even, and you are enjoying the feeling so much that you hardly realize you are running. You are blissful, elated and happy. It's flow.
I have only experienced flow a couple of times during my illustrious running career, but the few times that I have were the best; they were some of the happiest times of my life really. Oddly enough, childbirth (without any drugs) also allows me to get into the zone and is the closest comparison I have to flow. And no I am not kidding, each time I gave birth I got a major adrenaline rush and I rode the high for at least a week.
And while I would love to report that one of my flow experiences was this past weekend when I bandited the Old Boy's Half Marathon, to report such information would be a lie. A big fat lie, not just a little white one. The race started out fine and for 10 glorious miles I meandered in and out of borderline flow. I felt really good and I kept a good pace. Then at mile 10 for some reason my left leg started to bother me (I suspect that it may have something to do with the fifty pound neighbor dog that ran into my left leg full speed when I went running last week, but who knows) and from that point on I struggled.
The pain increased for the last 3 miles. It is the worst pain I have had to run through. I guess now I feel like I can handle running through pain which is good, but I don't want to push through the pain right now during training and injure myself more seriously before marathon day. After the race I was feeling low, frustrated and spent. My left ankle and knee were sore. This soreness was likely complicated by the fact that I totally wiped out in the parking lot after the race yesterday. Those of you who know me well are not surprised by this supreme display of coordination! Those who do not, I am not even the least bit graceful. Not too many people can trip over their own feet. When I woke up today, I was mad that I would have problems now so close to the big day, angry that I wiped out in the parking lot and added insult to injury and I was tired. I considered following Miranda's lead and renting movies and having a television marathon today. I wanted to roll over and give up. But then after breakfast my kids said, "lets build a house in the basement out of toilet paper". And I thought, "Why not?" So we did.
The toilet paper house was not nearly as impressive as I had hoped, but it did serve as a good distraction and a springboard for something spectacular. Somewhere during T.P. House construction, I was apparently bitten by a cleaning bug because I ended up cleaning the basement, the kitchen and dining area, the living room, both bathrooms and two out of three bedrooms. Tomorrow I plan to do the last bedroom. I never watched television other than a few minutes of the Lions game.
Well after the long day yesterday, I came home and read book number 19, "The art of Racing in the Rain". It was an extremely thought-provoking and touching story about a race car driver's life told from his dog's perspective. It was so very, very good. And it got me thinking, "what would our dog say about us?" I like to think Stan would think we are good people. I need to believe he knows how much we adore him, but does he? Do we do enough for him? I am going to give more thought to this canine perspective and follow-up on this topic later this week. Until then, I will be busy living, not watching television!