It was a day of great escapes.
For one, I started the day with a most relaxing eight-mile run out to Victaulic and back, the run that everyone loves to hate. Except me. There' s something about an out-n-back that just appeals to me. I know where I have to go. I go there, and I come back. Done. The run today was the last of the long runs in this training cycle, and doing it with my "running daughter," as Mark calls Christine, just tied up the loose ends of the past 16 weeks.
It's been a tough cycle, for certain. I stuck to the schedule, did the tempos, did the speed, did the strength. Thrown in was a lot of swimming and cycling, thanks to the three triathlons. I feel that, overall, I'm in better shape and my legs aren't as tired. But I somehow developed PF with less mileage than ever before. Go figure.
But this pinnacle, of getting the hay in the barn and respecting my taper, is very emotional for me. Hanging out with Christine and Jamie on the final weekend before the race was a reward, of sorts. I wish Jill had been there as well, but the business of life has placed a hurdle on our schedules. Christine and Jamie both exude these qualities of a younger life, one that I saw more than a decade ago. Being with them makes me feel a connection to the past, to days before grey hairs and wrinkles and sagging body parts. I love to breathe in their wit and charm, hoping that it will soften the sharp angles of the cynicism that sometimes pervades my otherwise beautiful exterior. (Insert eye roll here...)
Later in the day, I had the fortunate opportunity to leave my girls in the gracious hands of Henceforth, herself an example of beautiful character and charm. My girls chatted endlessly about her this morning; I knew earlier this year that her placement into my life was extraordinarily fortuitous. Cathy told me this when she learned she was on my class roster. Knowing my girls were in her hands allowed me to enjoy a rather lovely dinner of pad thai, crab and mango summer rolls, corn fritters, and pinot. The conversation was rather interesting for it did not focus on our girls. Then afterward, we sat through Inglourious Basterds, a most thought-provoking film of the Nazi-occupied Paris and the Jewish-American bandits who are on a quest to end the war. I loved it. It was one of those films that, when it ended, you said: I must own this.
To know that so many people subscribed to the misguided tenets of an insane Austrian remains unfathomable to me. It should serve to remind us that we need to be thankful for what we have: our family, our country, our freedoms, our friends -- even if they are young enough to be our own children. We learn so much from one another, no matter who they are or where they've been. And we learn from ourselves.
It was, indeed, a great escape of a day.