A Mile is a Mile 2

My sister called me this morning, and when she asked me how I was I ran into my room and started to cry.

I hid in the bathroom a little while after we spoke, because moving Okies to Georgia is fraught in all the usual ways and I didn’t want to share my angst with my kids, who are teetering around our new home like cracked egg shells.

Physically making the move was easy. Learning how to be where we are is going to take some time. We recognize the blessings, we understand that school and routine will help. We know that friends and fun and good memories are just a day away. We know that.

And still. We are lonely and a little sad and kind of bored. We’re ready and not ready for the routine, because we know it clearly demarcates the end of our Tulsa time and ushers us into new relationships and possibilities.

Because I am 8 weeks into my marathon training, I can rely on my training schedule. I don’t have to run 5 miles today or 8x400s on the track tomorrow. I get to do that. This past weekend, my schedule called for 16 miles, and I was scared.

Scared because I don’t usually run longer miles alone. Scared because I didn’t know where to go. Scared because I wasn’t sure if there would be any water on the trail (there wasn’t), or other people (there were) or if it would be too mountainous for me (it was lovely). But I went anyway, because it was on the schedule.

It was hard and hot and humid and lonely and I was tired and sad. I missed my Tulsa running buddies. I missed my Tulsa water stops and the usual faces, like Boxing Man, and Gray Beard. I missed, if you can believe it, the foul smell around 56th Street. And I stopped two miles short, because I was lonely and sad and hot and tired. It is easier with friends.

There is safety and comfort in the training schedule. There is a system and a plan and a reason. There are measurables. If I don’t know anything else, I know I hit my paces at the track and that I need to bring more water.

A mile is a mile anywhere. And I will find new usual faces, and figure ways to stash water, and understand where in the blazes the trail heads are. I need to feel┬ámy heart pound and the sweat bead, for my legs to catch the rhythm and my mind to fly to where I don’t usually allow it, I need to run, free and deep and sure.