T minus two weeks. I’ve got that all wrong, I already know this. In eleventh grade history class I learned it should be D minus two weeks. T=Time. D=Day. Here’s the example Mr. Michaux used. The D in D-Day means Day—the day of the invasion of Normandy. Two weeks prior to the invasion was D minus two weeks, then D minus two days, then finally the day of the invasion, D-Day. Day-Day.
So, D minus two weeks, it doesn’t sound as good as T.
A month ago, I wrote a post about CJ’s Resolution Challenge. It’s a three-hour trail run in central Pennsylvania around a one-and-a-half-mile loop. It’s on the first Saturday in January. You run the loop as many times as you can. Your score is the number of laps you complete. I’ve done this before. Not the race, but my strategy to get to the race. I tell everyone I know. Then I can’t back out. I’m committed, people are watching. It helps me take my training seriously. Or that’s the idea anyway.
This time, my plan failed. Before I wrote that post, I had just logged two-hour runs three weekends in a row. I figured I’d knock out three more of these and then taper for a few weeks. Instead, my longest run since that post is eight miles—less than an hour and a half running time. And one weekend, I skipped my long-run all together. Today I ran seven and a half miles. That adds up to only five loops. I’m feeling sorely under trained. Three hours suddenly seems like a long time to run.
For this race, I’ll have company (as long as I can sustain a reasonable pace). After I registered, I learned my blogging friend L. signed up too. And after reading my post, R., a blogger I’ve followed for years signed up as well. These are two of my favorite bloggers. At this point you might say “Hey, I thought I was your favorite blogger.” Yes, you are too. But these two blogs really speak to me; plus, I’ve had email exchanges with each of them; and they both live in Pennsylvania, just a couple of hours away.
R. writes about autism, a topic of interest for me. Why? At times I wonder if maybe I have autism. I’m almost expressionless, I find relationships hard to sustain, and normal conversations are difficult for me. Also, autism is a co-occurring disorder that often accompanies Tourette Syndrome, which I have.
I just finished reading Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison. It’s a first-person account of life on the autism spectrum. I won’t recommend the book. While it wasn’t a bad read, it wasn’t a good read either. The author had a lot of interesting experiences throughout his life, but he isn’t able to tell his stories in a captivating way. Still part of the book recounts his time working with the rock band KISS, so it wasn’t a total waste of time. Also, in one chapter, Robison writes about his struggles with the give and take of everyday conversations. I could have written that chapter myself.
L. blogs about running and spirituality—sometimes separately, and sometimes in the same post. Regardless of the topic, she often includes a bible verse as a writing prompt. A little-known fact about me is I’m fascinated by religion. As an agnostic who believes “God” is probably an alien from a different dimension who started our universe as a hobby, I’m unexpectedly drawn to seek out Christian blogs. That L.’s blog is also a running blog makes it a double score.
In two weeks, the three of us will meet for the first time. I envision a frigid morning in a frosty field, hopefully I’ll be drinking coffee and standing by a fire—all winter trail races are improved with coffee and fire. Hopping foot to foot, trying to keep warm, I’ll scan the crowd of people, everyone bundled in caps and gators with only their eyes showing, and I’ll think “Is that R.? Is that L.?” And I’ll wonder, how will three people who only recognize each other by their blog avatars will ever meet up?
So to make it easy: If it’s colder than thirty-five, I’ll be wearing a neon orange running shell—bright enough to run safely through Pennsylvania state forests during hunting season. If it’s warmer, I’ll wear my go-to race shirt, a faded red tee—some might call it burnt-pink—with a Spiderman logo on my chest. Anyone reading this blog and running CJ’s Resolution Challenge, please come over and say hi.