Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Marathon Monday

As I explained to all my co-workers and non-running friends, Boston Marathon Monday is my Superbowl/World Series/World Cup/Other-'mainstream'-sport-championship equivalent. It's a day set aside as holy and sacred in my mind. It's a day that I look forward to all year long. And it's jammed full of emotions and inspiration. 

I admit it, the marathon has a strong hold on my heart. Part of my love for the distance is the inevitability that you will feel vulnerable, elated, scared, and joyous all in the same event, perhaps within minutes. Often times, keeping those emotions hidden is impossible. People expose their anguish, pain, and effort as they pound out the miles, and as runners, we all know how many hours of training, early bedtimes, and skipped parties a brilliant race performance represents. 

No matter the year, I am overcome with emotion when I watch the elites finish Boston. Partly because dreams are being fulfilled and dashed within seconds. Desi's incredibly close finish in 2011 was heart wrenching. Shalane Flanagan's race this year was amazing, determination and passion written all over her face.

A determined Shalane. Photo credit: Andrew Burton (GETTY)
 Relive Desi's 2011 finish:

But of course, this year was extra emotional. Meb ran such a beautiful and controlled race, and the nail-biting finish had me sobbing at the end (as usual). To finally see an American win Boston was magical, especially in the shadow of last year's bombings. It felt like Meb snuffed out lingering uncertainty and fear and replaced it will hope and inspiration. 

I'm not exactly sure how 26.2 miles does all that, but that's the beauty of running.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Going screen-free (or rather, phone-free) for 4 days

Ironically, I had to set myself reminders ON MY PHONE to warn myself "Screen-free day tomorrow!".  This is because checking my e-mail/facebook/twitter/insta/etc via iPhone is such a strong habit that I immediately start the daily social media blitz while still in bed (Eeek, so embarrassing!). Which is silly, really, because the birds are chirping, the sun is starting to stir, and my favorite time of day is happening all around me.

My screen-free days progressed as they normally would, except:

1. I had to pay attention to lecture for 100% of class time
2. I had to pay attention to my friends for 100% of lunch time
3. I had to pay attention to work for 100% of work time
4. I read a book
5. I enjoyed my food as I ate it
6. I didn't look like an idiot trying to walk and tweet at the same time
7. I worked on an art project

I still used the internet, but only at home on my computer. I used my computer at work too, but only for work-related stuff. And I still text messaged, because I didn't want to be a jerk and not reply for 24 hours.

Those four days were a lovely lesson in balance, attention, and simplicity. Try it!