Letting Go

I stayed awake until 11:00 last night watching the ticker at the bottom of the television screen, hoping to see our town in the listings of no school or at least early release.  I gave up.  I could not hold my eyes open for a minute longer.  When the alarm went off at 5:45, I groaned and dug deeper under the warm covers.  My husband smacked the snooze button, but I was awake.  I was about to turn on the television again when I saw the phone light up.  It could only mean one thing— and either way, I knew I would have to pack one less lunch.  The recorded voice of the school superintendent announced an early release day.  Yippee! I didn’t see any snow flying around out the window, but I didn’t care.  In our house, we gladly accept any executive decision to have a break from the regular schedule.

I drank my coffee and peeked at the outdoor temperature.  36 degrees.  Pretty warm, relatively speaking, and with the possibility of up to 10 inches of snow, I pulled on my running clothes and prepared for an easy run before the weather kicked in.  I did not have a particular goal this morning, just thought I would take it as it came.  After yesterday’s indoor biking, any distance outside would suit me just fine.  I ate a banana, drove the girl to school, and took off.

I began the usual route and felt rejuvenated in the calm, damp air.  My body felt good, despite the late night and I wondered how much of that feeling was due to the New Plan.  I also wondered how much my eating choices had to do with it.  I have been extra careful to eat as cleanly as possible—lots of calories!,  but the nutritionally packed ones that are in whole grains, milk, kefir, and yogurt.  I eat lean protein (mostly fish), nuts, nuts, and more nuts, and an embarrassing amount of vegetables and fruit.  On the days I don’t eat meat I seem to have more energy and less sluggish periods during the day.  Whatever it was, as I rounded the steep corner hill leading down to Pebble Beach, I moved into tempo speed and suddenly I was already on Eden Road.  The ice had melted away a bit so there was no need to slow down.  I passed my friends Sue and Richard at the corner of South Street and Marmion Way and didn’t even stop to chat.  I waved hello and took the longer road.  I grooved right past my house and headed downtown, following Main Street to Beach Street.  At the end, I turned left onto Granite Street, barely noticing I had just chosen to add another mile.  When I turned left onto King Street, I looked at my mileage and thought I’m on a roll— I wonder how much farther I can run?

I turned back onto Beach Street and back again onto Main; at the end, I headed down to the tip of Bearskin Neck.  I looped around the tiny roundabout and headed back.  When I reached Dock Square, I knew I had no choice.  I kept straight instead of turning left toward home.  I flew (for the second time in 15 minutes) past the cop directing traffic around the new Rockport Chamber Music Hall and took a left onto Jewett Street.  At the top, I turned onto Broadway and, with a ridiculous, unexpected burst of energy, sprinted the rest of the way home.  I tried not to think too much about it and go with it, but there was a part of me jumping up and down in my head with excitement.  I had never gone this far so easily.  As I approached my house, I checked my mileage again.  I had even more in me, so I ran past my house once more, this time taking Atlantic Ave, going around the block the long way.  I took Cove Hill Road, then a right, back onto my street.  I stopped, finally, in front of my house.  Nothing hurt, nothing ached.  I pulled to Nike + iPod out of my vest pocket and selected ‘end workout’ from the menu.  10 miles!

As I climbed the back stairs, I thought about all the fear I have held about distance— the worries over injuries, the possibility that I might not be able to finish something that, at times, seems huge and unattainable, and the insane attachment to not getting what I want rather than keeping the expectation that I will.  I let myself get in my own way before I even get through the gate, sabotaging success with that deep-set fear.  I have only gone on the longer runs with my running buddy Sue because I know that with her there I will be safe from myself and my fears.

Today has turned out to be a solid lesson for me.  I let myself go, and I ran 10 miles.

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4 Comments on “Letting Go”

  1. Pat Says:

    Good for you!! A PB is always a great kick.And what a lesson for the rest of us not-so-swift folks..Maybe I’ll try letting myself go :>)

  2. lise Says:

    I read about you running 10 miles so that counts for me!!!!

  3. Sharon Says:

    You are on your way! What an achievement!!

  4. Craig Says:

    You’re a maniac, Elizabeth! This sounded like would just keep on going and never return home.
    Great job, taking that chance and letting go! Good for you!


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