Several weeks ago I was having dinner with a friend and she asked why I kept doing all these crazy things, like the Fondo, for example, or signing up for XC Ski. Is your work life not fulfilling? she asked.
I think maybe she's on to something. Finishing half marathons or the century definitely gives me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that I really do not find at work - though I wish I did. I am addicted to the challenge and the start line and the finish line and even all the training.
I never really thought about it too much until the Healdsburg Half this weekend. Because my ankle has been a slow-time healing, I'd been trying to get rid of my bib, but somehow no one wanted it even though it was a sold-out race. I hadn't been able to train really at all, and I figured I shouldn't be out on the course. But then last week I realized it was going to be a gorgeous weekend, and that the course would wind through vineyards with changing leaves, and that I could drink wine and collect my long-sleeve tech tee. So on Thursday I made the rash decision to go up to Healsburg for the event and walk it. I figured it would be a nice way to spend a Saturday morning - and it was.
My TNT buddy Ashley accompanied me as she's been having trouble with asthma, and Matt jumped in for several (too many) miles. I discovered that having not trained for power-walking, it started to hurt my feet and joints after a couple miles, so we started interspersing run breaks. We walked about a 15 minute mile pace and ran an 11 minute mile pace and finished with an overall pace of about 14 minutes. It was a lovely day and I enjoyed the wine and the company, and my muscles cooperated to get me to the finish line with only a bit of complaining from my un-trained hip flexors. But this was no cardio workout for me. While I certainly enjoyed the day, I also don't feel fulfilled at all.
Although every race can't be a PR, I have enjoyed many of the events I ran in which my times were not terribly good. But they were the best I could do on those days, and so it still feels like an accomplishment. I was disappointed that this little walk could not do the same for me, but there's certainly always next time.
So here's to the training, and the start line, and the challenge. I guess I'll keep signing up until I find my dream job.