Do you ever wish you could see through someone else's eyes? I wish I could pretty much every second of every day. I am always wondering what the people around me are seeing. It seems that most of the time the way I act is driven by the excitement of what I see and how desperately I want to share it with pretty much everyone. I have realized this is why it is so hard for me to do things alone. I do not want to have all the joy of something amazing to myself I need to share it. The funny thing is usually when I end up getting to share my amazing hike, shop, book, music, etc not many people see it the same way I do anyway :) But enough of the touchy feely view sharing stuff ... just sit back,close your eyes, and let me see if I can paint a good picture of my weekend for you. ( Yeah, I know if you close your eyes you can't read this so it's okay if you do not obey ...just this once :)
Last Friday I left my house at 4pm. I dropped off my 16 year old at a friends house so he could go camping and then I headed off to pick up three of my friends who were going with me to Vermont. As I gathered my friends up from their houses each of their amazing and different personalities made me smile. How they say goodbye to their kids. The way they pack. Where they like to sit in the car. All that information that endears.
It was a beautiful day....I am searching for the very best blue describing words to describe the sky.... and then I need describing words for the endless shades of green that were everywhere your eye could see. The only bad part of amazingness like this is it makes you think of people you long to share it with...bless their hearts. But I won't go into that :) I love to be on the road..ahem...going 80 mph as the sun is setting. The way the light is at that time of day speaks to me. Geesh, do other people wax poetic when they are taking a silly road trip on a beautiful day? Seriously. Anyhow, when you drive on Route 91 North from my house towards Vermont there are pretty much only trees and mountains. A few cities....maybe 4 of them...on the entire 4 hour drive to the tippy top of Vermont. The freeway goes up mountains and down mountains, and up mountains and down mountains, over, and over, and over, again :) I totally get now why Vermont is called the Green Mountain State...it truly is SOLID green and mountain...in no particular order :) Whoever came up with that did not win a medal for their observation skills :)
So pull out your maps and find route 91 slicing through skinny Vermont and part way up the state you will see Route 89 meeting Route 91 ever so nicely. We stopped in this area for the night. We actually ate dinner in New Hampshire...these states are SO, SO skinny that a girl can do that :) We did all the things a proper girl slumber party at a hotel far far away form real life consists of....laughing, eating, talking about boys, throwing up, comparing pajamas oh, and more laughing. Hanging in the back of all of our minds was our 6.2 mile run that was the next day so we went to bed about 11.
I woke up first. I always do. It was about 5:00am. Every time I wake up in a hotel room I have an overwhelming desire to immediately throw open the curtains. Those hotel curtains are so heavy and dark and I want to see the day. But I refrained from doing this since I want my friends to like me :) I felt anxious since I had not driven to Derby, Vermont before and was not sure how long it would take us. The race started at 9:10 am and registration was open from 6:30am to 8:30am. So my need to get going was very strong. But I tried to be mellow about it since no one else seemed too bothered :)
We got on the road at about 6:20 am in the morning (yes, I know AM and morning mean the same thing :) which happens to be another of my most favorite times to be on 91 North in Vermont going 80-85 mph. It was another gorgeous day and morning light from MR.Sun is almost as awesome as evening light in my book.
We got to the race location at about 8:10am. We got all registered and asked questions and people watched. It is so fun to watch a group of runners and see right away which ones care about winning and which ones don't :)
I felt a little nervous because I have run 5 miles before but never 6.2. Which is totally my bad. I should have been a little better prepared for this race. But this race was symbolic in many ways and the only goal I had was to run the whole way...not fast just steady. I had my headphones.I had my music. I had my determination. I had my new running clothes. I had my old running shoes. I was as ready as I could be. I felt really good as the race began and I settled into a slow but steady pace. There were two pretty good hills in the beginning. But they did not cause me too much trouble. We ran around a shimmering lake, beautiful homes, fields with dandelions in them, through woods, next to a babbling brook, on dirt roads, on sidewalks, through a small town, and past a stately cemetery. I stayed pretty close to my friend Gail. We didn't talk but it was nice to know there was someone who would know if you stopped running :) I felt pretty good the whole race. The sun felt hot. I confess I would probably adore a 6.2 mile run in Alaska. I am a cold weather girl.
When I was close to that finish line it felt so empowering to know I had almost made it. I have been informally asking people the last few months what made them embrace running and it has been fascinating to me all the different stories I have heard of what made people turn to running. How it helped them overcome numerous things. I thought a lot during my run of what had lead me to this point where I was running 6.2 miles in a blue adidas shirt alongside a dear friend who literally saved me this past year. The experiences I had in evil 2011 made me determined to set some goals and figure out who I am. Thankfully, this run helped me to determine that I do like running...or maybe it is just crossing the finish line that I like? :) I am going to try a few more races and see if running races truly is a Jennifer thing. I already know that Jennifer races have to have a view and a clever name :) Not just any old race through any old town or city. I need my races to be unique....me and my high expectations :)
After the race we were served lunch by the people who organized the race. So we sat on the banks of a beautiful lake next to the finish line and ate. Then we decided we needed to see the course for the half marathon (13 miles) so we got in the car and drove it. And I must tell you it was impressively hilly. It had many more dandelion fields than our 10K did. Some breathtaking views. And I am mulling over the idea of attempting it next year. Yes, I said next year and I said mulling. The Dandelion Run is most definitely a tradition.
I would love to post pictures but a teenager in my home crashed my laptop so I am blogging from a computer that does not have my pictures on it. I will post them when I can. But you must trust me it was a beautiful day in Vermont. We meandered our way back to Massachusetts. We checked out the Canadian border which was a paltry five miles away from our run. We stopped at the Joseph Smith Birthplace in Sharon Vermont. And drove into Massachusetts at about 6:15 in the evening. I was feeling so grateful for dear friends who love you no matter what. Who are willing to admit that they are searching for the meaning of life too :) Who are not ashamed to throw up in front of you. Who will enthusiastically sign up to go with you for a 6.2 mile run that happens to be a four hour drive away in Vermont. It meant the world to me.