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A Runner’s/Writer’s Weekend

This weekend was a really lovely one. On Saturday, I ran easy 5 miles with a small group from Sports Basement in Walnut Creek. I’ve been trying to find a running group with whom I’d like to run regularly. It’s been tricky because my time is limited…often I run really early in the morning so I can get home and ready for a day with the family! Running with the SB group was a fun change of pace, though!

On Saturday evening, Jon and I got a sitter for the kiddos and headed out to Corte Madera, in Marin County. We both love that area and have several friends who live over there. But Saturday wasn’t about visiting friends, it was about the launch of “Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God: 73 Women on Life’s Transitions.” I am one of the 73 women and was delighted to attend the first book launch event! 9 women read from their stories and one artist displayed and discussed her artwork. It was a great experience full of tears and laughter. The stories in this book are incredibly honest and bravely written – I’m truly honored to be a part of it!

After the readings were over, the publisher gave me my copy of the book. I asked one of the readers to sign her page for me and as I waited for her, I flipped to the page where my story starts. I choked back tears as I saw my name in print for the first time. I am so proud to have my story in this anthology.

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On Sunday morning, feeling all warm and literary, I took off around 8:30am for my 9-miler. I decided to try a trail run in an area called, “Briones Recreation Area” which is about 4 miles from our house. It’s a hilly area full of horse, mountain bike and hiking trails and the views are the big pay-off. I saw some beautiful sites along the way! I was dumbfounded to see entire forest floors of poison oak, and nearly feel head-long into one when my foot caught on a branch. YIKES! Fortunately, my feet scrambled ahead and I was able to avoid the lurch into the itchy ick.

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Here is the view from my car.

As I got stalled getting started from my car, I seriously considered pulling out a picnic blanket and just napping in the grass. Not having a blanket made this less possible, but I was still in huge denial about whether I really wanted to pull 9 more miles on my body. It was starting as one of those runs where I truly wonder what the hell I’m doing out there!

View from the floor of the valley.
View from the floor of the valley.

The thing is that sometimes it’s just really hard to get going…even though I know it’s the right thing to do. Having seen how high the hills would go, this view didn’t do much to make me feel like I was going to get anywhere quickly.

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I should mention that the weather was absolutely perfect for running. It was cool – probably 60-62 degrees with a very light breeze and spring is in full bloom out there – the grass is so green and everything feels, looks and smells beautifully alive.

IMG_8422 IMG_8421 IMG_8420 IMG_8419 IMG_8418 IMG_8417 IMG_8416 IMG_8415 You can see that I needed to take a lot of “photo breaks.” The hills were SO steep – these pics don’t even capture them because you can only the parts of the hills I’d JUST completed – you can’t see how the hill meandered around and around the hills going up, up and up. I wouldn’t say I so much ran those hills and crawled up them.

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That’s Mt Diablo way over there in the background. It seemed like it was so far away…truly, I was only about 15 miles from the entrance gate!
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Check out Bessy – she didn’t even notice I was snapping her mug shot!

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I goofed a little toward the start of my run. I took a left instead of right, which put on a 1.25 mile loop back to pretty much where I started. So I reset my GPS app and went for a 2nd run of 8 miles. As I approached the 4-mile turnaround point, I had been running on a lightly rolling crest for quite a while. Once the crest broke and I started heading back down, there were cows everywhere. It reminded me of the “Happy Cow” commercials from a while back. The cows really seemed happy up there! They were grazing up and down the hillsides and did not seemed minutely concerned with the hikers (and one runner) passing by. As you can see, at one point, I got REALLY close to old Bessy. Fortunately she didn’t think of me so I’m still here to tell about it.

As I got to the mile 4 turnaround point, I realized that I hadn’t complained about the hills in a really long time. I’d been running consistently for long enough that I couldn’t remember my last walking/crawling break. I felt so strong that I want to sing, shout or just breathe really hard!

It was a beautiful and very fulfilling weekend. There is way too much going on in our lives right now but running and women’s literature will get me through.

How was YOUR weekend?

 

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