So…it’s been awhile. Within that time, I finished another turn around the sun and wrestled through a bout of depression. It was a more serious and longer run of depression, but I’ve gotten a bunch of tools to work through it and good people around me. And I’m back. Here’s what I’ve been up to.
I celebrated a birthday on Friday the 13th. It was a 3-cake birthday 🙂 Mr. Sometimes Runner was out of town for a training on teaching sex ed to kids in our church (yeah, we’re Unitarians, that’s what we do) so I was flying solo for the weekend with the kids. Fortunately, my awesome friends stepped up and we did a small, fun little celebration with multiple cakes (including a flourless one because my friend knew I was trying to cut wheat, an ice cream cake I brought, and a homemade mix cake), awesome Indian take out, and good conversation. I realized how lucky I am to have such good friends.
Running wasn’t very much fun the last couple of weeks. Everything felt heavy and slow and hard. It was a chore just to convince myself to get outside, and I couldn’t have sprinted if a wild bear had chased me. But I finally had a good run last week. The great weather helped for sure. It was balmy and perfect running weather in the low 50’s. I wasn’t able to do my long run Saturday since I was solo with the kids, but I got to go Monday morning. I ended up running 11 miles–something I wasn’t originally planning on, but it was so good I kept going. I have to say it was a relief to break the bad mojo after so long, so this picture from the run is pretty symbolic of that feeling.
I’ve actually been using a therapeutic light box in hopes of combatting the depression in a variety of ways. I think it’s been helping, but being out in natural light is good too!
I was also in Minneapolis this past weekend for the National Council for Teachers of English conference, so I got to escape the drudgery of the everyday for a short while. I stayed downtown and did a 10 miler along the Mississippi. I got to see this awesome old ruin (called Mill Ruins Park–I think it was part of an old flour mill? I say that because there was a repurposed condo right there that was a former Gold Medal Flour factory and a Pillsbury Flour factory across the river) right by the riverfront. It reminded me of the ruins that you’ll find smack in the middle of Rome, modern alongside ancient. This is obviously not quite that ancient, but it was still pretty cool to see.
I got to run the University of Minnesota campus, and it reminded me so much of Illinois’. Ironically, they were playing each other that day (which explained the random mascot on a flat truck that passed me, and the tailgaters). Graduating (for my PhD) from an urban school and working at a much smaller regional university, I haven’t been on a Big 10-type campus in a while. I realized I miss the big old building, campus flyers plastering kiosks, and downtown campus cafes.
I was bummed that a big chunk of trail that ran alongside the river was closed. I liked this shot, though, of the spiraling frozen water dripping alongside the banks of the river. I ran into an old acquaintance who lives in Minneapolis now, and she said you have to be an outdoors person to live there. I have to say that the wilderness-y aspect of even downtown was nice. I had a rough idea of my route, but I did have to do some clambering over trees and such when some trails/paths were closed. It was fun to just get out there, though.
The conference, itself, was fun. I saw some academic friends I only get to see at conferences, and I haven’t laughed so hard or acted so silly in a long time. It was really liberating to be so goofy (and childless!). I got to sleep in my own bed, with no little bodies screaming at me for something (like to look at them while they are crammed next to me in bed), or screeching demands for piggy back rides. I ate, slept, read, and talked like a real. live. adult. AH-MAZING.
I did find it ironic that I came back from Minneapolis, a city that has so much cold there are above-ground skyway systems so you don’t have to go outside, which had gotten no snow to Chicago, a city that had gotten 4-7 inches (and was just as cold).
Finally, just when I thought I was free of Boston for a bit, Jen, Patty, and I have decided to go with the free training plan offered by the BAA, which started LAST WEEK. It’s a 22 week training plan, which seems insane to us. But we also feel a bit driftless without a plan to follow, so there’s that…
Have you been to Minneapolis and seen the Mill Ruins?
Ever seen an elevator with -1?