Today, Kerry, Stephanie and I ran the Run for the Water 10-Miler, the proceeds of which go towards supplying Burundi with clean drinking water. I woke to a massive thunderstorm this morning and was concerned the event might not happen, but event organizers posted something on Facebook that cleverly said, “Run for the Water, Run in the Water,” telling us the race would go on. Somehow the storm cleared and the race ended up happening in nearly perfect weather. We were lucky.
We ran easy and hard. We ran easy in that we didn’t overdo the pace, but we ran hard in that we forced ourselves to run all of the hills. The course is a lollipop route. It’s an easy couple of miles out, a pretty tough five-ish mile loop, and then an easy couple of miles back. When I’ve run this race in the past, I’ve walked the hills. But today, we didn’t walk. And we finished in 1:53. Early last year, I celebrated running a flat ten miles in two hours. Now I celebrate running a tougher ten miles in 1:53. We even pushed the last mile at a sub-10 minute pace. That I ran it all, ran it faster, and had plenty of energy left over tells me that my overall conditioning has improved in a big way. I knew that, but the continued confirmation is always nice.
It was also nice that my friend Betsy was out on the course too. Sometimes she was ahead of us. Sometimes she was behind us. At one point when she was behind us, she yelled, “Taline, you’re looking muscly!” I kind of knew that too, but again, the confirmation is always nice.
Thanks to the run and the fact of a new day, my mental state has improved dramatically since last night. I really have been doing incredibly well these last few months, but last night made me realize that I’m still occasionally feeling new implications of the losses I’ve experienced. I think that’s okay. I’m not someone who flips an emotional switch easily. I don’t quickly go from caring about someone to not giving a damn. I’ve never said, “I love you” to two different people two months apart or even within the span of a year. My heart just doesn’t move that easily from one person to the next. That’s actually something I like about myself, even though it means that hurt sometimes lingers or resurfaces unexpectedly. I think slowly entering and exiting relationships makes me more reliable and trustworthy than someone who falls fast and hard and exits just as rapidly.
I think the universe knew that I needed that aspect of my personality affirmed in some way today. I mentioned last night that Mom and I shopped for curtains yesterday. We picked things out yesterday and were going to measure my windows and return to the store today to make the purchases. But last night, Mom found an enormous stash of curtains that we saved from my old house. I previously lived in a two-story, five-bedroom house. Mom made all of the curtains that hung in that place. I didn’t take them when I sold the house, but I asked the buyers, a sweet couple, to let me know whenever they replaced curtains because, if they didn’t mind, I wanted to pick the old curtains up because my mom had made them. They were kind and called various times over the years, and so I ended up with tons of curtains. Mom brought all that stuff over today. We sorted through it, and it turns out that I still love everything I painstakingly picked out back in 2000. We can reuse a lot of it, so now I only need to buy fabric for one room instead of four.
See? I’m slow to make decisions, but once I love something, I really love it, even 13 years later. My pocketbook celebrates that about me today. And after having some time to think about it, so does my heart.