Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Live in Iowa: Week 29

This week was almost as emotionally exciting as my life gets. The things that can top the emotions of this week are either things I am building up to and planning on or things that I hope to put off for many years. The big event of the week was my grandmother's death. Ever since she had a stroke last summer we knew this week was coming. It was nice because we had just over a year to get ready for it. There were no surprises, everything followed a rather predictable path. People always say they want to die quick and not suffer, but seeing her suffer through this experience (and perhaps she was a closet optimist) gave us time to get used to the idea so that when she finally passed away I felt as much relief as sadness. I'm going to write another article about it and post it tomorrow so please return again tomorrow.

I worked 33 or 34 hours in four days, taking Friday off to visit my grandma for the last time. The emotional high and low of the week at work was getting offered to go to Georgia for a week to observe field testing, only to get told it would be too expensive. In hind sight, I would have only been there for one day then had to fly back for my grandma's funeral, so it worked out for the best, like everything does. As far as what I am doing at work, I am working with aluminum for the first time since Kohler and that is always a nice little change from steel. I find different materials so interesting...

In the running world I ran my best "workout" ever. Really it was two workouts, one in the morning and then the same again in the afternoon. In the morning I did a 2.5 mile warm up followed by a 14 mile tempo at 5:51 pace per mile average and in the afternoon I did a 2 mile warm up followed by a 14 mile tempo at 5:57 pace per mile average. This is a so called "special block" for the marathon. The rest of the week I just ran recovery pace and racked up a total of 101 miles. Running 28 miles faster than my current marathon PR pace in one day does not make recovery quick.

Coaching is going well, although this week with my grandma's events I was somewhat distracted at practice most days. Our kids are in the best shape they ever have been and I am really excited to see what they do at regionals this coming Saturday at Wartburg.

In the socializing scene, I went to Massachusetts for the weekend! One of my friends from grad school was having her birthday party and two of our other friend had the idea that I would be the surprise. It totally worked. We spent the weekend with each other, going to the best margarita restaurant that I know of, Mezcal. It was nice to seen familiar faces and familiar places. I love my friends, even (and you could say especially) those in New England that I did not see this weekend.

On a different note, New England is so crowded! I grew used to it while I lived out there but after being away for almost two years I have gotten used to open spaces, light traffic, courtesy, and short lines. I did not feel as at rest as I could tell my friends were when we were lounging around their houses. For me, and those that have worked at Tahosa, light a fire in Docs, put on some music and enjoy the stars from the porch or read a book or discuss life. That's relaxing. Add some Dubliner cheese and I'll be content for a long time. As for the hills in New England, they are not as big as I remember. I ran one of my typical 15 milers while I was there and I remember how I thought the hills were and I felt they were so much smaller now. My perception of the world has changed and it will surely change again. I am not who I was before, and I am not who I will be in the future.

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