Where's Waldo?

Coronado Beach today, tomorrow the world.

I am a woman on the go. As you have picked up by now, it has been a crazy whirlwind of a spring. I have been traveling a bunch, zipping around for running, work, pacing, life. It has been so much fun. And really the spring was just the beginning. Now begins the busy season. I leave for Belgium Monday, come back the following Sunday. Go to Auburn the 24th, come back Sunday after the race. Leave for Italy on the 2nd. Crazy times. I am so busy that I actually have created a travel schedule and whereabouts calendar that I have shared with my family and a few friends so they can figure out where the hell I am. It is hilarious. And it changes like the weather.

Linda, Me and Jonathan before they raced SD100, June 6.
Fun crewing & pacing duty for me!

This period of time has not been without its challenges. Trying to balance work, running, responsibilities and the constant subconscious stream of chatter can be tiring. It has been an interesting test of my fortitude. I am the type of person who thrives and is spontaneous in adventures best when I have a firm foundation from which I launch, or so I thought as I rolled out of Seattle heading south those many months ago. I have surprised myself at how comfortable I have become with no "home". I have no sense of home, I have no place that I currently consider my home (except in terms of permanent address). I don't peruse Craigslist for apartments or dream about the way I will neurotically organize my house. Instead of think about ways of selling off more and more earthly belongings. That is not to say that I don't desire to have a home anymore, it is more that increasingly I have no idea where I want that home to be. Skipping around the world like a little bird, I find myself "home" no matter where I go. I don't really enjoy living out of a suitcase much, but I have learned how to navigate my anxiety wells. I have learned how to face head on the doubts and neurotic thought processes that seem to crop up like clockwork. Fabulous adventures aside, being able to improve myself as a person is even better.
Training in Ohlone with Caitlin, Will G and Gary.
Photo of Will G and I by Gary.

Despite where or not, I end up in the long run, right now all I can focus on is the World Championships in Belgium on the 19th. After my fabulous 40 miler, I had a fantastic follow up 35 miler less than a week later. I pulled the plug at mile 35 since I was way ahead of the "relaxed" pace my coach had instructed me to run at and at the time, I thought I was going to be pacing my sister for the entirety of her marathon that Sunday (I did the 35 miler on Friday night) at Rock and Roll San Diego. With those two fantastic runs, I gained a good bit of confidence for WC. Over the spring, I have not really raced much. Ok, I haven't really truly raced at all yet. I haven't run a single race in which I am not looking past that race to what it is building towards. As my coach Howard says, there is nothing after WC, nothing exists beyond it. While I am much less hardline about racing generally, I feel like for the first time this season that I am going to leave it all out on the course, I am not even thinking about the races that come later (well, except to register for them & buy plane tickets). Through my pacing experience this year, I have witnessed what it means to cross the finishline completely spent. I want to push myself to a new level of racing, I want to push myself past the point of comfort and let it all hang out. I feel good, I feel ready. I actually feel quite nervous. Not "am I ready?" nervous, but how do I be smart and drop the hammer to have the best race I can. I have been in taper now for a week and a half and everything I do is focused on arriving at the startline fresh, rest, strong, ready. Thus far, I have navigated taper successfully, calmly and without madness. I can feel it creep up though a bit from time to time and when it does, I just remind myself it is natural and I don't hold on to it. And then I take a nap. The joy of a daily 1-2 hr nap really helps diminish anxiety almost as much as my afternoon runs usually do (ok, not quite but I do love me a nap). This is the first taper I have been fiercely protective of. I don't throw in any off-schedule runs, I don't push it when I shouldn't be. I don't run extra mileage just because. I think it is because I have worked so hard in my training, especially peak training that tapering feels like a reward instead of a scary punishment. I can truly feel my body respond to tapering positively, I am getting the benefits one should from tapering. I am not surprised I arrived at my taper feeling ready for it, after all, I ran 475 miles in the month of May and that is with more 6-7 days off. That is more than 15 miles a day (when averaged with days off included and nearly 20 miles per day (without days off counted in the average). I feel healthy and I tip toe cautiously to keep myself that way for the next week+. It is an exciting time. I am excited for this race.

I just realized that I am rambling. And if I am rambling in my actual writing, you have no idea how much rambling I editing out that was in my head. So that means it must be time to either hop on a plane, take a nap, go for a short run or eat something or perhaps watch a House marathon. Off I go....