“It was nice meeting you…surreal, but nice.”

This quote from Notting Hill summarizes my feeling well today, on the day after my first half marathon and on the first day of my 30s.  Or maybe it fits for the entire weekend.  I took a nap on Friday, to be awoken by the Portland Opera calling for the 7th time to get me to subscribe, then headed to Barnes and Noble to grade papers.  Then Saturday morning the alarm went off at 5:15 to get me to Hillsboro by 6:30 for an 8am start (they recommended an early arrival due to traffic and I trusted them since 4,000+ runners and walkers were coming).  Then I spent the afternoon with friends so I could witness their daughter’s first hip hop performance; at 5 years old she was an amazing jumping bean who definitely got the hop part down pat.  The evening involved my first bath in 3 years (I shower, goodness you people have weird minds).  And today I slept in, had a few friends over for pie, and am now back at Barnes and Noble finishing up grading.  So this weekend has been surreal but nice.

First, the half marathon…this was the longest run I had ever done; it was double the length of my previous race.  I jogged the first 6 miles, walked a mile, jogged 2 miles, and then mostly jogged the rest because the pain in my left calf was starting to affect my knee and ankle.  It seemed like walking was a better plan then heading to a doctor’s office on Monday for a torn something.  I was happy to reach my base goal of jogging the first 6 miles and completing the whole thing, but fell a bit short of my stretch goal of 3 hours (my official time was 3:11.36, a 14:37 average pace).  So what was I thinking when I travelled across that finish line?

  1. Where is a masseuse when you need one?
  2. OMG – I can’t believe I made it.
  3. I can do better.

 In late July I’ll be starting with a Running Group to help get me off my plateau and meet some new people.  I’m excited because it’ll be starting right as Western ends, and my fee is being covered by my mother’s birthday present to me: money to help with the Bucket List I’ve put on hold for the past few years.My next few runs are 5Ks and then the London Parks Half Marathon in October.

And about being 30…well I’m still processing that part.  A good friend asked me a few weeks ago why I was so caught up in this one day and change in age.  The logical part of my brain knows it’s no big deal, that age is just one label among many, and in many ways I am in better physical shape at 30 than I was at 18.  I think this birthday is like graduation day (which I’m also experiencing this summer); you are forced by the calendar to consider who you are, who you want to be, and if that person is who you wanted to be as a youth.  When I graduated college, I had no expectation of one day working with adult students (I don’t think I even knew there were adult students other than those taking community college courses for fun) or going to seminary (I didn’t want to be one of those Christians).  What I did expect was to work at a church, to get married, to travel, to write, and to magically be thin.  At 30, it’s just not quite what I expected.

But I must end this pondering on the right note: I love being in Portland and getting to be an active part of the transformation possible through education; I have some dear friends who support me better than I support myself sometimes; and this is a season of opening doors, not closing ones.  Like I said, it’s surreal but nice.

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