“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
Today I realized something about myself… one of those things that everyone else probably knew years ago but never told me (or they tried but I wouldn’t listen….).
I. Need. An. Obsession.
I need something to focus on and be about. Looking back over my life there has always been something I was obsessed by and devoted to, that consumed my time. There was the book collecting phase (in fact I used to obsessively collect things as a child)… the phase were I wouldn’t stop until I had read ALL the young adult books on sale… the great ‘hair’ phase. Recently, it has been more about sport. There was boxing for a while. I lived it, breathed it, took it to a higher level than any other non-professional girl in the UK (falling down in tears at the end of grading was all part of the drive, of course). Since then, there have been things that are slightly more face-friendly. Biking: I used to bike 2 hours a day. Weight-lifting (the most recent). I loved it, I read everything about it, I structured my life around it. For a newbie with no trainer I did pretty darn good at it (bench press: 120 lbs; squat: 240). I even flirted with bodybuilding.
But, as ever, these things wax and wane. My K grant was it for a while: even though it was wildly out of my grasp, I went for it, hell for leather. I used to write and rewrite it in my head all the time; I remember going over and over it as I did laps in the UAB pool. Well, that is in and done and now, I just need something healthy in my life to direct this energy to, or it will become unhealthy (hello eating disorder).
Running. Trail running. Why not? It is healthy, and has a good intellectual element: you need to carefully plan how you will succeed, optimize pushing yourself vs. rest and recovery, exercise great self discipline. There are forums and web sites and shops and THINGS and it is easy to feel an achievement: set your goal and go for it.
Sparked by my first 5K, and being talked into signing up for Tough Mudder, I have been pounding the pavements. But, I need more. Cue trail running. I love hiking, so why not? Thus, my tentative new plan is to do an ‘official’ trail run race every month until December. Hopefully in different states: 3 months, 3 states. I am thinking:
October 22nd: 5k in Huntsville, Alabama
November 5th: 5 miles (~8K) in Big Creek, Georgia
December 17th: 10K at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
See – I am even being good and building them up slowly (no matter how tempting the 9 miler in November seems).
Cheer me on! Now… I gotta go and buy new shoes (this is not why I do it at all. Ahem).