Posts Tagged ‘poconos’

I Beckon Thee, Oh Balmy Breeze!

Day 7 of 7 in the Blogging My Birthday Week Series

Birthday cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning, but MJ was a little sleepy. Nevertheless we made it to the library parking lot only eight minutes late to meet BG for a mellow run around Lake Naomi. Before we hit the road, I passed BG some wrapped pieces of banana Nutella cake, since MJ and I had only eaten two slices out of a cake that held at least ten.

BG was kind and plotted a course that was the flattest possible route, even though hills in the Poconos are like sand in the desert. MJ’s sister can tell you it’s tax season, but there was nothing taxing about this trot through the relatively posh development of Lake Naomi. We definitely kept it at chat pace, and even though it was about 20 degrees, the forested properties kept us sheltered from the wind so we all warmed up pretty quickly. I admit it was disconcerting to be running along snow-lined streets for my birthday weekend–usually, in the city it’s just starting to defrost, the streets are clear and I catch a hint of a balmy breeze. But this weekend, I ran through a dazzling winter wonderland. Evergreens iced in snow pilings and icicles. Snowdrifts piled against stacked cords of firewood. Mountain cabins snuggled under roofs blanketed in (you guessed it) snow. MJ was impressed by the beauty of the landscape; I appreciated it; BG had clearly had enough, since he’d been snowed in since November. Understandable!

With luck, this conversational run through a landscape that made me think it was Advent rather than Lent will be the last real winter workout I’ll have until well after my goal marathon for this year. The weatherman is prognosticating temperatures in the 60’s for this week–oh how glorious a big thaw would be. It is time for the melting, it is time for reemergence.

5 miles run in 56:11. Average pace 11:13; fastest mile 11:01; slowest mile 11:24.

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Day 6 of 7 in the Blogging My Birthday Week Series (today being my actual birthday)

As I was running around the Timber Trails loop this morning, it occurred to me that we only have one truly tactile experience of our birthday–and that is at the actual moment of birth, when we are seconds old. Forever after that initial instance of our life, birthdays will be remembered by the intangibles: feeling happy, lonely, loved, forgotten, unique, sad, grateful.

I am over at the Poconos house with my friend MJ, continuing to celebrate my birthday with two days off work and a whole lot of laziness. I started the celebration on Sunday, with my first blog post. Simply making the time to reflect about running and my life, and then write about it, is a gift. Monday I went for a run and got a facial. Tuesday I had a killer Pilates class and then met up with a trusted group of women for some great conversation.

And Wednesday, Wednesday!, I threw myself a little birthday party in my favorite wine bar. This year of all years it was important to me to gather those who have supported me, comforted me, cheered me up, and just maintained their faith in me as I pulled myself through the past seven months. I wanted something to look forward to, I wanted a reason to get dressed up, I wanted a small moment in the spotlight, and yes–I admit I wanted a few presents to unwrap. But those were just convenient perks of the party, because what I really wanted was a moment to stand on a chair and tell my friends and family how much I felt their affection and good will, and to thank them for it. I did exactly that, right before they brought out my cake. 

Thursday I woke up with an epic hangover, but in an astoundingly good mood. I felt full of fortune and gratitude. The circle of light at the end of the tunnel is getting wider and brighter with each passing day, allowing me to see everything more clearly–and I mean everything. Lessons that other people seem to have figured out ages ago I am only absorbing now, like: Life will never be just the way I want it to be; nothing will ever be perfect, starting with me. There was once a time when that news would have angered and frightened me, but now it’s a curious sort of challenge–how does one enjoy something that isn’t perfect? I want to know the answer!

And here we are at Friday. MJ and I had a lazy breakfast followed by a beautiful run along a road basked in sunshine and bordered with glittering snow. Then we dedicated ourselves to food: grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and the baking of a banana Nutella cake for dessert. After I assembled the cake, I was a little disappointed because it leaned precipitously to one side, and the cream cheese icing was marred by smears of the Nutella filling and cake crumbs. But MJ reminded me of my revelation: thought it wasn’t perfect, my cake was as it was meant to be. It seems that this year, my lessons in abundance are intangible AND tactile: I will have my cake and eat it, twice! (Apparently, in this case, one enjoys imperfection by eating it.)

Each mile of my four-miler around Timber Trails this morning was faster and more fluid than the one before. My breathing remained steady as my heart did its pittery-pattery thing. My thoughts remained fixed on not what I had lived through, but on that which awaits me, and on all the special people with whom I will share it with.


Prosecco 1; Gruner Veltliner 5; Sauvignon Blanc 10;  Montepulciano 8; Cabernet Sauvignon 15; Nebbiolo 12; Stella Artois 2.

4.16 miles run in 40:09. Average pace 9:38; fastest mile 8:55; slowest mile 10:21.

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