I went out of town for the weekend, to Put-in-Bay. I usually try to get up there a few times a year but this year, it never seemed to work out. I do a 5K up there annually. It’s always the 3rd Saturday in September and I wanted to be sure to get there to do that again this year, which would make four years in a row.
Usually this is an exhausting day trip. With the race starting early, this often means getting up at like 4:30 a.m., a long drive to the ferry, taking the ferry over, running the race soon after, and then having some food and a couple of drinks, enjoying myself the rest of the day, but not TOO much, since I have to sober up before the long journey home. This year I did it right, getting a room for the weekend with the help of a friend who is resident on the island all year.
The room was a real flophouse, with impersonal service, dirty windows, 40-year old decor, and a huge framed piece of art that fell onto where my head would lie on the pillow while I was out and about on Saturday. I consider it extremely good fortune that I wasn’t lying there when that happened.
I reset my personal goals for this race. I’ve not been able to run much over the last month since I was struck with such a bad late summer illness, and running a race in the middle of being sick a few weeks ago only served to help prolong it. So, I decided to just go as slow as I felt was comfortable, enjoy being outside, and figure hey, I got off the couch, that’s a lot more than a lot of people did today. It wasn’t about hitting a time or performance pressure. Just go get it, do it, and reward yourself afterwards.
Of course it poured rain. It often rains for this race, but the downpour a few minutes before was monsoon-level. I shoved my iPod and phone into ziploc bags to avoid their ruin. The rain ceased briefly just in time for the start, but by the end of mile 1 had started up again, slow but steady. I didn’t push. I only wanted to finish, to not be last, and not be injured, and I managed those goals, so I consider that a win.
The rest of the weekend, I did a lot of nothing really important, which was a nice break from the usual insane weekends I have. There was a lot of bourbon, laughter, music, shopping, eating, napping, and some serious soul-searching about life, love, the moon, the sun and the stars. I needed it. I ate too much and slept too little, but felt like I lived the weekend fully and hard, which is a good thing.
Yesterday, the kid started his fall running series. He swore at the end of the spring one that he didn’t want to do it again, but when sign-ups came around and I asked him, he said yes, he wanted to. Three times. But then of course yesterday, he didn’t want to. It was also pouring rain for his race, but they held it anyway. The rain slowed for most of the races so I guess it was ok, but the grass where they run was very muddy and wet. My kid was not last, and not first, and just did his best and followed through to the very end, which is exactly what I did during my race the day before.
My sister comes in this weekend and we are going to my Mom’s hometown fair, the last one of the season and the only one I will have been to this year. Every fair I usually go to didn’t fall on my custody week this year, and I didn’t want to go alone. This one doesn’t either, technically, but we switched custody a little earlier in the week so I could go up to the island and so I get D early this week, and so we can go to the fair. A last gasp of very late summer and formal introduction to fall, as we pass the solstice.
Watching the full moon over the ships in the harbor at the bay, the seagulls, the sunset and getting out there and doing that race my own way were my personal method of buttoning up summer and all the good and bad times it brought. I have to move forward.
I am looking at you now, fall. The leaves and air are bringing change. Am I ready for it?
Are we ever?
(Yes, the link below is a cover, but it sure is good. Give it a listen if you haven’t.)