Tunesday: Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)

I started this blog in April of 2014 on the cusp of running my first marathon, the race I decided would get me out of my ten year running slump, and the experience I decided would jumpstart my very own blog. This blog.

And it worked. For the time it took to train and run the 2014 Chicago Marathon, I had a really solid posting schedule and regular things to talk about that I felt comfortable sharing on the internet.

And then it didn’t, because I stopped running regularly after the marathon (burnout?) and I couldn’t really catch a rhythm in my posting or topics or… anything. My personal and professional life were pulling me in a million different directions and I wanted to follow all of them but just couldn’t keep up with any of it (more burnout?).

I stopped posting here regularly, too.

But I learned something on that road to 26.2: you can stop doing something, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come back harder, better, faster, stronger.

So here I am.

As of right now, my life is in a great, stable place compared to 2014: I am married to the wonderful man who was then my boyfriend; my dog is no longer a puppy and all the thrilling things that come with that growth; I have a wonderful, full-time job in my most desired career path (public youth services librarianship, working with community schools); and my husband and I have recently bought a house that is a 15 minute commute tops for each of us.

For the first time in a long time, all the pieces of my life fit together nicely and while it’s not all perfect or smooth or effortless (work is great but is still work, our house is going on 90 years old and the previous owners did some *interesting* things to it, our dog is 3 and out of puppyhood but still has his charming little foibles…), there is nothing foreseeable on the horizon to plan or worry about or consider.

From house breaking to wedding planning to job commuting and hunting, things were just never as calm as they were in that stretch between April and October of 2014. I mean, while we were house hunting at the start of the year and then closing and moving in May, we were also planning a two week, four city European vacation of a lifetime on top of me going through my first year of my job and, for the entirety of 2018, I barely had time to find the box with the towels so I could take a shower let alone drag myself out for a run or write a blog post for fun.

Or, I guess I had time, but I also had burnout. No question mark.

We just got home from that marvelous trip Saturday night, but during our last few days away I would keep musing to my husband about the life we were returning to; now that we weren’t packing or unpacking or exchanging currency or comparing hotels or hardcore meal planning to save money… we might have the headspace to do and thoroughly enjoy the things that we want to in a way we haven’t been able to in a long while.

And for me, that is running and writing.

So when I woke up the day after our vacation ended (Sunday at 6:20am to be precise) and my weather app declared that running conditions were GOOD… I laced up and headed out.

And just like that, she’s back.

IMG_5315.jpg

Well, no. It wasn’t just like that. I had just been on a trip to Europe where I drank at least a glass of wine literally every day and sampled each of the four cities we visited’s multiple culinary must-haves (and then some). And I had just spent, no joke, twenty hours traveling and was seriously jet lagged. On top of that, I hadn’t run in months. It was slow and a little awkward, but it was something.

And I learned something else during my marathon training: something is always better than nothing.

I don’t currently have a curated running playlist and I’m really picky about my running music, and I decided to shuffle the entirety of Lady Gaga’s repertoire for my run. I knew my girl would deliver. And she did.

Run, run with her top down, baby she flies
Run, run with the fury of a saint in her eyes

We can be strong. We can be strong
Out on this lonely road. On the road to love

This song isn’t strictly about running, but pair those lyrics “baby, she flies” with “we can be strong” and you’ve got some hardcore techno rock motivation to keep the pace up and keep. on. moving.

And keep moving I did, for 3.2 whole miles. And it was hot. And it was sweaty. And it was a little slower than I prefer. And I am still sore two days later.

But I did it. I got it done.

And guess what? I did it again today, too.

I’m back, baby. Stronger than ever before.

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