Monday, November 12, 2012
Today a coworker asked how was my weekend and if I did anything in the area.
I responded "Le dimanche j'ai couru 15km".
See, I'm learning French! The grammar is the somewhat easy part, the vocabulary is hard.
Anyway...translated what I hope I said was "On Sunday I ran 9 miles (about 15 kilometers, my brain just does not want to work in metric).
Now, to me at this stage, 9 miles is not really a big deal. I've run 6 half marathons and done some 15 - 16 mile runs (OK, I've done 2, but that counts as some). 9 miles is...dare I say...easy?
Well, easy if it does not include the hill "Kill Me Now", the next street over from mine. I really dislike hills.
Back to my story.
My coworker's jaw dropped. Literally. I know that's a common saying but his jaw literally dropped open.
He was very impressed. And then he wanted to know why so I explained about training for the marathon and the other races I have done and my training plan. And we had a good talk about running and goals.
But it made me stop & think about how we begin to take things for granted.
Today, to me, a 9 mile run is normal, not really a big deal. To someone just starting out running, or who doesn't run at all...9 miles can seem impossible. I remember my first reaction to the possibility of thinking about running a distance longer than 5k...it involved a lot of swearing and threats against myself if I were to even consider the possibility of considering longer distances.
And now here I am, training for a marathon.
For a long time when I first was training in karate earning my black belt felt like an impossible goal. It was something I dreamed about but for a time didn't really think I could do.
Then I did.
And it is STILL a big deal!
But you know what I mean. Once you incorporate fitness and nutrition into your normal lifestyle, once you make goals and put into action plans to follow and start achieving those goals, once you push on to the next achievement and keep racking them up...
You lose sight that what you've done is actually pretty awesome when you think about it.
And it doesn't really matter what those goals and achievements were. They don't have to be so major like a marathon, or being an Iron Man...or even a Black Belt. Having goals, working towards them, achieving those goals and constantly working to improve already puts you so far ahead of the average person that they can't catch up.
Or so they think,.
Until maybe a chance conversation over morning coffee sparks the thought that they too can become one of the elite...someone who can make and realize his or her own goals, whatever they may be, instead of just coasting through life without a purpose.
Here is where I'm supposed to say that now my coworker is starting his own running plan, and joining SP, and that our morning pass the time talk has changed his life, etc.
He's probably not and it probably hasn't.
But I gave him something to think about.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
My Morning Mile route in Amsterdam took me right by this forest path....but I learned my lesson from my misadventures a few weeks ago and stayed on the paved & lighted route. No exploring for me!
And now I have an even better reason not to go exploring through the forest paths...today while running \9on a road through farmland) I heard shots fired; a few days ago in one of the fields behind my house I also saw a kid out with his dog and a gun shooting a rabbit.
So not wishing to accidentally wind up shot, stuffed and roasted on someone's dinner table I've decided to curtail my forest explorations, deliberate or accidental.
For today's run I remembered to take my personal phone to get some pics of the area I now get to run through (which is very unlike the subdivided strip malls and traffic of where I lived in MI).
This is the Jesus on the Hill I mentioned in a previous blog. It is across the from the local cemetery.
The view from the cemetery
The Wall of Straw I mentioned in that same previous blog is now gone to wherever straw walls go. Instead there are these giant piles of some sort of root crop that snake their way along the farm roads. They are mounded like some sort of ancient earthworks.
A horse pasture along the way. There were donkeys too.
A view of the road through the trees, just before leaving the farmland and entering my neighborhood.
A memorial for 2 people who died fighting the Germans in WWII. You see these memorials all over the the country. It is on a road that gets maybe a dozen cars a day, out in the middle of nowhere. You come around the curve and it is just there.
The river I tried to follow home a few weeks ago when I got lost.
Another memorial in Coudun, the village before mine (Coudun is at the bottom of the hill, Giraumont is at the top).
The main drag in Coudun.
Today's long run was 9.09 miles, I finished 3-4 minutes ahead of my target pace. And that included hills sprinkled throughout the run, and the Kill Me Now hill right at the end, which is the street next to mine. I am SO glad I live on my street and not that one! I thought the Never Ending Hill of Death was bad until I "ran" up Kill Me Now today.
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