Warning: I use the word JOY a lot in this post. As it perfectly describes my friends and my weekend run.
The gift of the tajine –
I watched as my two friends (one lives in Morocco and one lives in Paris) prepared our noon meal in my Kentucky kitchen in MY new tajine, hand carried all the way from Morocco. I watched as they carefully cleaned and chopped the fresh ingredients, all with JOY. As they laughed and smiled, I was transported to Morocco.
The aromas – out of this world!
And the JOY they shared in preparing this meal – amazing. From turmeric to saffron, my kitchen was alive.
The gift of the tajine made me feel so special. What a sweet and thoughtful gift. Hand carried and delivered with love. These moments are the moments that make my life rich and full.
Here’s to one of the best meals I’ve had in my life And here’s to good friends who live life with JOY filled hearts – CHEERS!
Running with JOY and keeping the pace at 52.
Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, Ninety-nine bottles of beer… My go-to running song. I sing to distract my self from the distance.
Although I love to feel the miles, running 13.1 miles does takes a while. And keeping it under 2 hours has been my mission. I’ve completed numerous half marathons over the last 10 years, and only two have been over 2 hours. The first and second were 2:05 and 2:02, since then I’ve been able to stay under 2 hours. The fastest in 2013 at 1:53 and the latest, this past weekend at 1:58.
Having not run a half marathon in 18 months, I was afraid and anxious to take on last weekend’s race. I was afraid of the distance / pace ratio, and I was afraid of what the last 18 months of age might have dealt me.
Not only have I aged (luckily as the alternative is…not aging), in 2016 and 2017 I took on the ultra run. I ran a marathon, a 60K and a 50 Miler. I also completed a half ironman (70.3 miles – swim, bike, and run). These longer distances presented new challenges – but the challenges did not include speed.
Returning to shorter distance this year, I found myself with questions. Could I maintain, a 9 minute per mile or less pace for 13.1 miles? Could I still run fast (my fast, not your fast)? And why is staying under 2 hours so important to me?
As I ran the Geist half marathon, I found myself running with JOY. I simply ran and I felt good. No aches and pains. No knee pain for the first time in several years. I was however – cognizant the entire time of the pace I needed to maintain in order to meet MY goal.
I stayed in the mile and I truly enjoyed each mile. When I reached mile 11, I knew I was going to come in under 2 hours and I was SO relieved.
The course was hilly and I love hills. None of the hills were horrible, and each hill climb was followed by a downhill. Sweet rewards.
Why is staying under 2 hours important to me. Is there really a difference in running a 1:59:59 versus a 2:00:00? I have no profound answers, I just know that I feel better when I stay under 2 hours.
I’m not setting any land speed records. For me, it’s just what motivates me – it’s what keeps me running.
I also can’t run a sub 1:50 (YET), goals people – we all need goals.
My current goal is to simply run each half marathon under 2 hours.
Does it matter? Nope. And what happens when I eventually go over 2 hours? Life will go on. C’est la vie.
BIGGEST MEDAL EVER – Geist Half Marathon
As I crossed the finish line and the sweet girl handed me the finishers medal, I hoped I wouldn’t fall over from the weight of the medal. This medal is HUGE. If you are into hardware – this is your medal. It can also be used to serve tapas (small Spanish dishes, served at bars). This medal is my all time favorite. It’s pretty, it’s sparkly and the back can double as a mirror (according to my grandaughter).
The Geist half marathon in Fishers, Indiana was simply amazing. The course was beautiful as was the weather. The logistics were well thought out and the volunteers were top-notch. I rarely do a half marathon twice – this one, I look forward to doing again.
I met an angel at mile 11. Thank you to the runner who ran the last 2 miles with me. I know we helped each other meet our goals and that’s what the running community is all about.
For all I know you were a real angel sent to save my day. If so, job well done. If not, congrats on meeting your goal! I however, prefer to remember you as an angel. More fun this way!
Mon Amie –
Your visit brought JOY to my life and house. Your laughter, kindness, and child like heart have taught me much. You live life with such happiness. I admire you. And I seek to imitate you – as the highest form of compliment.
Your family is beautiful. Your love for each other radiates. YOU are always welcome.
Thank you for your patience as I spoke French. And thank you for several new phrases – I’m looking forward to using them in France.
My brain was exhausted from speaking French, but in just a few days I improved so much. Conversation is the key – I hope we have many more.
Until we meet again – on the trails in Morocco or in the streets of Paris. I will practice LIVING. I will seek out new trails, paths, streets and adventures. I will focus on JOYFULL living and I will learn to use my tajine as a way to recall our time together.