Several training milestones occurred this week.
The Friday I registered for the race and after I wrote Flying Pig Friday Volume I, I went to my first “Vinyasa and Vino” at my yoga studio. Every Friday my studio hosts a vinyasa class followed by music and wine. Ten or so people took the class and stayed to socialize that evening. I stayed and got to know a few people. Being new to the studio, it was nice to have an opportunity to talk away from the mat and the discipline of practice. (Perhaps that is the point of hosting the vino part of the evening. Being part of a community is an essential part of the practice.) I still claim being new to Cincinnati, despite the fact that I will have lived here for two years in April. I have not bonded with the city, really. The people with whom I was talking are native to Cincinnati and very willing to share their lists of places to go and things to see. That felt good. I will definitely make “Vinyasa and Vino” part of what I do.
Tuesday, New Years Day, I ran 5 miles along the river. That was my “long run” for the week. (The other 3 mile jaunts have had to happen on a treadmill.) It was 32ish degrees and snow lined the edge of the route. I could see my breath, but I did not feel cold. I warmed quickly as I made my way. Running outside in the winter is a gift. I ran in the middle of the afternoon. The sun reflects differently at different times of day. There are different sounds and shadows. The city was backlit by the first hints of sundown that afternoon. The slower pace of traffic on the bridges was a reminder that is was a holiday. I soaked it all in step-by-step. Paying attention during a run is a meditation. There is a point when the rhythm of my breathing is in complete unison with my stride and things just makes sense. That pulse quiets my mind. It takes a while for me to get there, but when I do it is pure sweetness. I finished 5 miles in just over an hour. Slow and determined.
Friday morning I received an email telling me to celebrate. I have logged 500 miles on RunKeeper, my running app. I started using RunKeeper in September of 2011. I have completed 500 miles since my first activity. It has taken a while for me to reach that goal. Most of my runs have been between three and 5 miles, so the journey of 500 miles has literally come as a result of a series of many small runs. In looking at my activity history on my app, it is evident that I have had periods of intense focus on my running and periods where I have been less diligent. The ebb and flow of activity is probably pretty typical. It would be interesting to think about when I have been more likely to put my shoes on and go, and when I have left them off. I would like to say activity has been reflective of the weather, but that would not be true. I think it has had more to do with when I have been training for a specific goal. Have goal. Will run.