I thought it was just running. But I’ve realized recently that in just about every way possible, I’m slower. To summarize:
My running pace is in the toilet. My Garmin’s been telling me that for weeks, but I don’t think I’d really internalized it until last week’s long run. At one point, I gradually approached a slightly rounded middle-aged guy out for a brisk walk. As I passed him, I gave him a rather patronizing nod and smile, all the while thinking, “Way to go for getting out there on a walk, big guy.” Then his walk break ended, he kicked it into gear, and left me in the dust. As his form receded in the distance, I noted he was wearing a plain white t-shirt, black socks and brown shoes. Somehow, that made it more humiliating.
I’ve been working on the same university course for more than eight months. The program I’m taking allows six months to complete a course, plus two costly extensions. I’m on extension number two, closing in on the final completion date of September 30th and I’ve still got one assignment to finish and an exam to write. It’s not that I don’t work on it at all. It’s just that I work on it little by little – like digging a grave with a teaspoon, and just about as much fun.
When it comes to planning, it’s all about the last minute. I was so organized back in July. But somewhere in the midst yet another summer of being on the road almost every weekend, I lost the will to pack. So my kids are in Toronto this weekend visiting their grandparents with what could be a critical shortage of socks and underpants. I’m not sure, and I can’t seem to get too concerned about it. They only seem to wear clothing from the top layer of their suitcases anyways.
Here’s the thing, though. I am running. I am studying. And the boys are in Toronto, leaving The Runner I Married and me with the house to ourselves for a week. So it’s hard to feel too worried.