Saturday was a gorgeous New England Fall day. I cleansed the soul by running a 12 miler in the morning and chasing that with several hours of yard work, weeding, and preparing some newly planted trees for their first Winter. When I finally came indoors to take care of some household tasks, I added to my Zen-like day by burning a nice scented candle and enjoyed the quiet of a Saturday afternoon. Although soothing, that candle reminded me that I’ve been burning my own proverbial candle at both ends…..
My training for Stone Cat has gone far better than I could have hoped. I feel ready physically, but more importantly, I feel ready mentally. After a 31 mile training run (6 hours), my mind proved that it was ready to take on another 19 miles and possibly another 6 hours on race day. During this training cycle, I’ve felt exhausted at times and I’ve felt the pangs of an insatiable appetite at other times. But the training has felt surprisingly manageable and extremely satisfying.
Work is another thing altogether. I love my job, but the volume of work has reached epic proportion. One of our coworkers recently left the company, so the two of us remaining team mates have taken on that workload in addition to our already heavy load. I welcome being busy and honestly, that’s when I’m happiest in my work. However, this crazy volume and the feeling that I constantly need to be “on” has generated an exhaustion level greater than that of my ultra training. Saturday night culminated in the work rendition of hitting the running wall, in the form of insomnia. And Sunday found me working through much of the afternoon and into the later evening.
I think training is easier than work, and of course it inevitably ends and results in a race day. Work is ongoing, and if you’re me, it’s a pretty big part of my life. I do enjoy what I’m doing, but have to remind myself (constantly) that what I do is not going to save the world or someone’s life. It does matter of course and I take great pride in what I do – whether at work, on the running course, or putzing around in my yard. And I’m a better person when I’ve got a balance going. So at the end of Stone Cat, I hope to have the experience only a 50 mile race can provide and a finisher’s jacket as my reward. At the end of this week, I will have a weekend where I don’t open my laptop.
OK, maybe to read a blog or two or three….